Daily News Wrap-Up: Bihar’s 185 MW Solar with 254 MWh Battery Storage Tender

Ministry to regulate transmission access for DISCOMs failing to clear dues

December 18, 2023


Bihar State Power Generation Company has invited bids to set up a 185 MW grid-connected solar power project with a 254 MWh battery energy storage system in Kajra village of the Lakhisarai district in Bihar. The scope of work includes surveying, design, engineering, procurement, supply, installation, erection, construction, and commissioning of the project on a turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction basis. The battery energy storage system must be set up to deliver a maximum power of 45.4 MW for 4 hours.

The Ministry of Power has proposed regulating short-term and general network access for distribution licensees (DISCOMs) who fail to clear their dues even after two and a half months. The Ministry has proposed amendments to the Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) Rules 2023 and encouraged Interested stakeholders to submit their comments by January 12, 2024. The regulations will be referred to as the Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) (Amendment) Rules, 2023. They are scheduled to become effective upon their publication in the official gazette.

Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy completed ₹15 billion (~$180.03 million) fundraising through Qualified Institutions placement. The company plans to utilize the funds to pare down debt and pursue the fast-growing EPC markets in India and abroad. The securities issuance committee of the board of directors approved the issue and allotment of 43,227,665 equity shares of face value ₹1 (~$0.012) each to eligible, qualified institutional buyers at the issue price of ₹347 (~$4.16) per equity share, including the premium of ₹346 (~$4.15) per equity share.

Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation has invited bids for the empanelment of survey agencies to carry out a detailed topographical survey of solar power project sites in various districts of Himachal Pradesh. The last day to submit the bids is January 1, 2024. Bidders must pay an empanelment fee of ₹5,000 (~$60), which will be valid for three years. The scope of work includes detailed topographical surveys of solar project sites, including surveys of the surrounding area (real estate, infrastructure, forest cover) across various districts.

The Ministry of Power proposed amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2023, to accelerate the residential rooftop solar installations in the country. The proposed amendments, once implemented, will direct DISCOMs to expedite the application process for the rooftop solar installations, metering setup, and feasibility study duration. Stakeholders can submit their comments by January 12, 2024. Upon receiving a complete and accurate application, DISCOMs must establish new connections or modify existing ones within three days in metropolitan areas, seven days in other urban areas, and fifteen days in rural regions.

The UK government unveiled a £2 billion (~$2.19 billion) government investment initiative to help expand green hydrogen production in the country, spanning from the Southwest of England to the Highlands over the next 15 years. Over the next three years, an upfront allocation of ~£400 million (~$438.2 million) is projected to generate 125 MW of green hydrogen capacity, catering to diverse industries and furthering the progression of the country’s green economy. The initiative aims to position the UK as a global frontrunner in the rapidly expanding hydrogen industry.

Lightsource bp, a global utility-scale solar project developer, announced the sale of five of its utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects to clean energy generation company Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Australia for A$813 million (~$546.68 million). The five solar power projects, located across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, have a cumulative capacity of 1,036 MWdc. The money raised from the sale will help fund Lightsource bp’s expansion plans throughout the Asia–Pacific region and advance initiatives in South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand.

The European Investment Bank approved a €5 billion (~$5.5 billion) initiative to support the wind energy equipment manufacturing companies in Europe to boost home-grown industrial innovation. The amount under the initiative will specifically help strengthen the commercial bank guarantees for companies investing across the wind sector. It is expected to help raise nearly €80 billion ($87 billion) of new wind energy investments and add up to 32 GW of new wind energy capacity in the region. The program will support investments by companies manufacturing wind energy and grid-connection-related equipment and key components.

The Global Wind Energy Council forecasts that, by 2030, installed wind capacity will only reach just over 2 TW globally. This falls significantly short of the projections outlined by the International Renewable Energy Agency’s World Energy Transitions Outlook, which anticipates 3.04 TW cumulative onshore wind and 494 GW of offshore wind, totaling about 3.5 TW wind installations by 2030. Similarly, the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 Scenario calls for 2.75 TW of cumulative wind installations by 2030, emphasizing the need for a substantial scale-up, roughly 3-3.5 times the current capacity, over the next seven years.