Rajasthan Approves Levelized Tariff of ₹3.14/kWh for 725 MW of Solar Under KUSUM Program
Earlier, the state had approved the tariff for capacities up to 325 MW
The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) approved ₹3.14 (~$0.04)/kWh as the pre-fixed levelized tariff for the Component A of the KUSUM program for capacities of up to 725 MW.
The Commission also advised the distribution companies (DISCOMs) to pursue the matter with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to increase the allocation under the Component A so that procurement-based incentive (PBI) is available to the DISCOMs.
Component A under the KUSUM program refers to setting up 10 GW of decentralized ground-mounted grid-connected solar projects of individual project size of up to 2 MW.
On behalf of the DISCOMs, the Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (RUVNL) earlier filed a petition for the determination of a pre-fixed levelized tariff for projects under Component A of the KUSUM program.
The Commission in its earlier order had set the levelized tariff under Component A as ₹3.14 (~$0.04)/kWh, adding that this would act as the ceiling tariff for the competitive bidding for solar projects, and RUVNL may initiate a competitive bidding process for Component A.
RUVNL had requested the Commission to extend the pre-fixed levelized tariff of ₹3.14 (~$0.04)/kWh already determined by the Commission for 325 MW under Component A of the program to 725 MW.
In its submission, RUVNL had stated that the determined tariff applied only to the capacity allocated to the state by the MNRE under the Component-A of the program. However, the Commission had allowed the DISCOMs to file a suitable petition for an increase in the limit in terms of capacity.
As per the MNRE guidelines, DISCOMs identified the existing substations where solar power may be injected. The total number of substations identified was 4,456, and the solar capacity assessed was 6,314 MW.
Then, the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) had also invited Expressions of Interest (Eol) from the developers.
RRECL had said that post bidding, approximately 102 MW of capacity, was likely to be finalized, and the total capacity could reach 725 MW, considering the shortlisted applications before bidding. RRECL had said that it was in the process of issuing the Letter of Award (LOA) to the eligible applicants.
Installation of these solar projects in scattered areas will help in the supply of power to farmers during the daytime while benefitting DISCOMs by reducing the losses with the help of distributed generation.
The Commission also noted that DISCOMs were ready to purchase the additional energy at the tariff determined by the Commission as it would fulfill their renewable purchase obligation (RPO) too. The Commission said that the MNRE was likely to increase allocation from 325 MW to 725 MW.
The Commission further noted that there was a shortfall in meeting the overall RPO targets specified for the DISCOMs for FY 2019-20. It said that as per the latest amendments in the RPO regulations, DISCOMs had been provided the flexibility of meeting their non-solar RPO target with solar power and vice versa. The solar power under the KUSUM program will further enable them to meet their RPO targets specified for the future period up to 2023-24, the Commission added.
Earlier, the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL) had floated a tender for solarization of 6,367 grid-connected water pumps under Component-C of the government’s KUSUM program.
The scope of work included the design, survey, supply, installation, testing, commissioning of the solar systems.
Image credit: JREDA