Daily News Wrap-Up: Ministry Allows Multiple Users Under Group Captive Model

Cabinet approves ₹37.6 billion Viability Gap Funding for BESS projects

September 7, 2023


The Ministry of Power, in recent amendments to the Electricity Rules, 2005, has reverted to the previous regulation, allowing collective captive users to hold the minimum ownership of 26% in a group captive open access project. According to the notification, the words captive user in the sub-rule (1), clause (a), and sub-clause (i) of the rules will be replaced with captive users. In July, the Ministry issued an amendment changing it to a captive user, mandating every captive power user, even in a group captive structure of open access, to hold a minimum ownership of 26%.

The Union Cabinet has approved the viability gap funding (VGF) for the development of the battery energy storage systems (BESS) program with an initial allocation of ₹94 billion (~$1.1 billion), which includes budgetary support of ₹37.6 billion (~$452 million).  The VGF aid can potentially offset as much as 40% of the project’s capital costs, contingent upon the projects being finalized and operational within an 18 to 24-month timeframe. The program is expected to significantly reduce the cost of battery storage systems, thereby enhancing their economic viability and forwarding the government’s sustainable efforts.

Juniper Green Energy and Tata Power Renewable Energy (TPREL) have won Tata Power’s auction to develop and procure power from 225 MW of grid-connected intrastate and interstate wind-solar hybrid power projects with a greenshoe option of 225 MW on a long-term basis. Juniper Green Energy won 75 MW by quoting ₹3.27 (~$0.039)/kWh, and TPREL, a subsidiary of Tata Power, won 150 MW out of the quoted capacity of 225 MW at ₹3.28 (~$0.039)/kWh under the bucket filling method.

REC Limited, a public infrastructure finance company, has raised $1.25 billion in August and September 2023 from a consortium of six banks and through a Foreign Currency Term Loan Agreement. The company raised $1.15 billion in two tranches from a consortium of six banks. The financing proceeds are expected to go towards funding power, infrastructure, and logistics sector projects as permitted under the External Commercial Borrowings guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India. The participating banks raised the loans as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners.

Lucknow Development Authority has invited bids to select operators to set up and maintain five electric vehicle public charging stations (50 charging points) at Janeshwar Mishra Park, Lohiya Park, and Jyotiba Phule Park in Lucknow. The last date to submit the bids online is September 18, 2023. Bids will be opened on the same day. Bidders must submit 1% of the project’s estimated cost, which amounts to ₹575,000 (~$6,928) as an earnest money deposit. The project’s estimated cost is ₹57.5 million (~$692,789).

The offshore wind industry achieved notable growth by adding 8.8 GW of new capacity to the grid in 2022, which was its second-best performance ever, according to the Global Wind Energy Council’s “Global Offshore Wind Report for 2023.” While this was a 58% decrease compared to the record-setting year of 2021, it still marked the second-highest year for offshore wind installations on record. The total global offshore wind power capacity reached 64.3 GW across 19 countries. This was a year-on-year growth of 16% and accounted for 7% of the cumulative global wind power capacity.

The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) has invited bids to implement 20 MW/40 MWh battery BESS in Delhi for BSES Rajdhani Power (BRPL) under a tariff-based competitive bidding process. BRPL has planned to deploy the BESS within their licensed area and appointed TERI to invite bids from prospective bidders. The last date to submit the bid is September 22, 2023. Bids will be opened on September 29. The scope of the work involves a site survey, planning, design, engineering, transportation to the site, insurance, supply, unloading, handling, testing, installation, integration, commissioning, and demonstration.