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Centre issues new guidelines on bundled solar, thermal power

Tuesday, 28 Jul 2020
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The Central government has issued new guidelines which enable solar and thermal power to be bundled by bidders to provide 24x7 electricity to distribution companies.

The guidelines will help to scale up renewable energy without hurting the grid with intermittent supply.

Power generators have to ensure at least 85 percent availability, both annually and during peak hours. Bidders will have to supply at least 51 percent of the power from renewable sources, which may include supply using storage.

The scheme is the first-of-its-kind in the world where both fossil fuel-based power and clean energy will complement each other to make up a viable system that provides consistent power to the grid.

Failing this or the 85 percent supply requirement, the bidder will have to pay a penalty equivalent to 25 percent of the shortfall in energy terms, calculated at the maximum composite tariff payable during the year.

The bidders must also quote a single composite tariff for the RTC projects at the delivery point. Successful bidders would be selected through a transparent bidding process for the bundled energy.

The minimum capacity for which bids will be issued is 250 MW in order to fulfil economies of scale. However, bidders can club smaller thermal projects to tie-up with their renewable projects.

The RE component can include solar and non-solar sources such as wind, hydro, or any combination of the same, and bidders do not necessarily have to use a storage system for their projects.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) must be of 25 years or more from the date when the supply begins.

This scheme will also help states fulfil their renewable purchase obligation.

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