Proposing an “apt and befitting alternative” to the state government’s 6,400 Mega Watt (MW) solar power tenders, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) Ltd, an enterprise of the Government of India, has appealed the Andhra Pradesh government to avail the 9,000 MW solar power projects that it awarded under manufacturing-linked solar tenders initiative.
SECI added that under the manufacturing-linked power supply agreement (PSA), the state can benefit from various advantages consisting of offering the power at Rs 2.49/kWh, waiver of interstate transmission system (ISTS) charges for the entire 25 years of power purchase agreement (PPA) and others.
SECI, in a letter written to Energy Secretary Srikant Nagulapalli on Wednesday, elucidated that 12,000 MW projects were awarded in four tranches of 3,000 MW each under the manufacturing-linked solar tender between December, 2019, and June, 2020. The tranche-I capacities were offered to various utilities and the PSAs are expected to be inked in due course, it added.
The balance of the entire 9,000 MW, to be set up in three phases of 3,000 MW each, are likely to be
ready in September 2024, September, 2025, and September, 2026 respectively.
“Accordingly, it is our request to the government of AP to avail the entire 9,000 MW solar power to be set up during the years of 2024, 2025 and 2026. We, at SECI, believe that manufacturing-linked 9,000 MW solar power would be an apt and befitting alternative to government of AP’s recent tender and it would achieve all its stated objectives including costs and would be economically cheaper. Besides, AP will be supporting the nation for the development of indigenous manufacturing under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,” SECI’s general manager Atulya Kumar Naik stated in the letter seeking AP’s confirmation on the same.
For the record, SECI, in July, signed its first PSA with Grid Corporation of Odisha, a subsidiary of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), to supply 500 MW under the manufacturing-linked initiative.
It may be recalled that the state government proposed to establish 10,000 MW solar power plants — 6,400 MW in the first phase — as a part of its endeavour to offer free power to the farmers for the next 30 years. Consequently, AP Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL) floated tenders in December, 2020, and firms including Adani Renewable Energy, HES Infra, NTPC, Shirdi Sai Electricals, and Torrent Power were later finalised by the state corporation with the tariff ranging from Rs 2.47/kWh to Rs 2.58/kWh.
Nevertheless, AP High Court quashed the tenders in June this year after Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd filed a petition complaining that the request for proposal and the draft PPA were not in line with the Electricity Act norms.
SECI noted that AP floated tenders in which developers filed bids for Rs 2.49/kWh. Listing the advantages, SECI said it would offer a similar tariff of Rs 2.49/kWh inclusive of trading margin and that phased commissioning would help AP lessen integration and balancing costs. It appreciated the state for the “innovative model” promoted by it to utilise renewable power to achieve sustainable agriculture growth while reducing the cost of cultivation. “This indeed will go a long way in uplifting the living standards of farmers,” the SECI GM said.