To avail the benefits of the Central government’s flexible-generation scheme, NTPC has called for tenders from 1,000 MW of existing solar and wind generation plants to supply power to the company for one year. The ceiling tariff for the reverse auction for choosing solar/wind power plant has been kept at Rs 2.67/unit.
The power ministry, in April this year, had allowed thermal power generation companies (gencos) the flexibility of using renewable energy sources to meet their contractual generation obligations. The new mechanism allows thermal gencos to set up renewable power plants at their existing power stations, or anywhere else, thus allowing discoms to meet their renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) through existing PPAs.
The scheme was seen to allow companies such as NTPC to avail of the benefits of this policy, given that some of the power stations located far from pithead have an energy charge higher than Rs 3/unit. The minimum offered capacity of a solar/wind power plant will have to be 50 MW and in multiples of 10 MW thereafter, NTPC said. Only renewable power plants having inter-state transmission system connectivity shall be eligible for selection, it added.
Industry experts are sceptical about the expected response to the invitation, since most of the large wind/power plants are built after signing PPAs through government nodal agencies. On top of that, since securing transmission connectivity has been a longstanding impediment to renewables, “one wonders how much capacity, with ISTS connection, is untied with PPAs,” a person said.