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Centre plans renewable projects through PPP route

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019
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The Central government is planning large renewable energy projects like the coal-based ultra-mega power projects (UMPPs) through the public-private partnership (PPP) route.

The renewable power projects may include any renewable source of generation or a combination of them. The plants are likely to be 1,800 MW in capacity, which can be spread over three areas of 600 MW each, and the power purchase agreements (PPAs) will be for 25 years.

A tender by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 1,200 MW solar power purchase received bids from SoftBank-backed SB Energy and Chennai-based GRT Jewellers. The government is planning to allocate the responsibility of site identification to all central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) in the energy space, including NTPC, SECI, Power Finance Corporation and NHPC.

Each CPSU may be given charge of two-three states. They will float joint ventures with the state governments and set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs). The Centre is working on two-three models for sharing of profit between the CPSUs and the states.

The states will receive two paise per unit for 25 years as yearly income on generation. The actual installations on these sites will be done by private developers to be selected by the SPVs through tariff-based competitive bidding.

A major relief to the renewable projects will be that the connecting power transmission line will be treated as national asset, relieving it from any pangs in clearances. Coal-based UMPPs are large projects of 4,000 MW at one location that are identified and bid out by the government in the PPP mode. Of the dozen UMPPs planned, the government auctioned four such plants and only two are operating.

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