Daily News Wrap-Up: RUVNL to Procure 490 MW Hybrid Power at ₹4/kWh

Jodhpur DSICOM’s tender for 495 MW solar projects under KUSUM

October 23, 2023


The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission has granted approval for Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam (RUVNL) to procure 490 MW of hybrid power (combining solar and pumped storage) from the Solar Energy Corporation of India at an average tariff of ₹4 (~$0.048)/kWh. The Commission noted that despite efforts, there have been shortfalls in meeting these renewable purchase obligation targets, particularly the solar obligation. Furthermore, as of the present, there is no operational capacity tied up by Rajasthan DISCOMs to meet their hydropower purchase obligation (HPO). The Commission acknowledged that the availability of solar power is expected to address the shortfall in RUVNL’s solar obligations, while the power from the pumped storage power plant is intended to fulfill the HPO of the DISCOMs.

Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam has floated three tenders for installing and commissioning 185 grid-connected solar power projects with a total capacity of 494.82 MW in Churu District Circle under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program for feeder-level solarization. The projects will be developed under the renewable energy service company model. The selected developers must oversee the projects’ operation and maintenance for 25 years. The project developers will be required to install the associated 33 kV or 11 kV line (depending on the specific requirements) linking the solar power projects to the relevant 33/11 kV substation. This includes setting up the bay, breakers, and metering system at the substation.

The Indian government has initiated a Standards and Labelling Program for solar modules to indicate their quality and energy efficiency. The program, developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), will be in force from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2025. The first two years of the program will be voluntary. The government said it would be made mandatory subsequently. To register, manufacturers must deposit a security fee of ₹100,000 (~$1,203) for each model, but small-scale industries can secure registration with a valid certificate and a reduced security fee of ₹25,000 (~$300).

Adani Energy Solutions has commissioned the 765 kV Warora-Kurnool Transmission line, spanning 1,756 circuit kilometers across Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. The line is expected to ensure a seamless flow of 4,500 MW of power between the western and southern regions and support the large-scale integration of generation from renewable energy sources. The project has installed mid-stream towers of 102m height on the Krishna River. The company said the erection of towers and the stringing of lines crossing six major power lines, railway-electrified tracks, and national highways was challenging. A total of 103,000 metric tons of steel was used for erecting the towers.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is set to acquire PTC Energy Limited (PEL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of PTC India, at a transaction valued at ₹9.25 billion (~$111.18 million). Through PEL, its subsidiary formed in 2008, PTC has commissioned seven wind power projects spread across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh with a generation capacity of 288.8 MW. PTC Energy was incorporated with the aim of developing an asset base to expand its business to generation, supply, distribution, transmission, and dealing in all forms of energy. This included importing and exporting coal, converting coal or fuels into electricity, fuel linkages, and providing advisory services in the energy sector.

The battle for control of critical minerals has taken another turn, with China placing restrictions on the export of graphite used in electrical vehicle batteries. China’s Commerce Ministry announced ‘temporary’ export control of sensitive graphite products, including highly sensitive spheroidized graphite. The move, it said, was to ensure the stability and security of the global supply chain and safeguard national interests. The export restrictions will take effect on December 1, 2023.