Wind-solar hybrid scheme: SECI extends bid deadline again

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New Delhi | Published: October 27, 2018 5:23:55 AM

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has once again extended the last date for receiving bids for the setting up wind-solar hybrid renewable energy capacities.

Wind-solar hybrid scheme, SECI, MNRE, National Wind-solar Hybrid policy, finance ministry The last date of bid submission was initially set as August 8, subsequently postponed five times to the latest deadline of November 14.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has once again extended the last date for receiving bids for the setting up wind-solar hybrid renewable energy capacities. The last date of bid submission was initially set as August 8, subsequently postponed five times to the latest deadline of November 14. Industry sources said the ceiling tariff of Rs 2.60/unit set for the auction is untenable and does not justify the risks that developers are taking in agreeing to participate in the such a maiden enterprise. Initially, the tariff ceiling for the auctions were set at Rs 2.93/unit, but had to be reduced as per the directions of the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). The capacity offered under the tender was also cut down to 1,200 MW from the original proposition of 2,500 MW.

A senior SECI official told FE that the agency is taking cognisance of the concerns put forward by the developers and there are a number of teething issues for a kind of venture which is taking place for the first time in the country. “We want a foolproof format before kicking it off,” the person added.

As reported by FE earlier this month, power minister RK Singh had pointed out to the finance ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office that states are reluctant to buy renewable power even if tariffs much lower than thermal electricity.  States effectively end up paying much higher price for every unit of solar electricity due to the mandatory payment of fixed charges to thermal power plants, even if they don’t off-take any electricity from the latter.

To overcome the challenges posed by the intermittent nature of wind and solar power plants, the MNRE, in May, came out with a ‘National Wind-solar Hybrid’ policy. As per the hybrid model, wind turbines and solar systems will be configured to operate at same grid connection points for optimal utilisation of power generating and transmission capacities.

“A wind-solar plant will be recognized as hybrid plant if the rated power capacity of one resource is at least 25% of the rated power capacity of other resource,” the policy said. Though the share of renewable capacity in the country, at 69 giga watt (GW), is more than 20% of the total installed generation capacity in the country, the actual electricity they produced in FY18 is less than 8% of the total.

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