Chennai: Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is all set to float tenders for procuring 500 MW of solar power under competitive bidding route in coming days with the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission giving its nod to it. “The commission has given an oral order permitting us to go ahead when our petition came up for hearing on June 28. However, we are waiting for the hardcopy of the order to be uploaded in the TNERC's website, after which we will float the tenders for competitive bidding in the coming days,” a senior Tangedco official told DC.
Tangedco has taken to competitive bidding route after facing flak for procuring solar power through power purchase agreements with developers under the preferential tariff of `7.01 per unit. Opposition parties took on the state government for procuring solar power at Rs 7.01 per unit while many other states opted for bidding route started discovering lower tariff with Rajasthan achieving the lowest ever-Indian tariff of Rs 4.34 per unit in January this year. The utility had signed PPA with over 50 solar developers to procure 1484 mw including 648 mw from Adani's solar project at Ramanathapuram at a tariff of Rs 7.01 per unit if the projects were commissioned before March 31 deadline.
But only 947 MW solar capacity projects were commissioned before the deadline with Adani alone commissioning 313-MW project. The rest of the PPA signed solar projects that would be commissioned after March 31 to get a revised solar power tariff of Rs 5.10 per unit. “We are expecting the rest of solar power projects to be commissioned in the coming months,” a senior official said, adding that the new solar capacity addition was required to meet the solar renewable purchase obligation (SRPO) target fixed by TNERC in line with MNRE's solar power growth trajectory. The utility would be requiring a solar installed capacity of 1,200 MW to achieve the 2.5 per cent SRPO target for the 2016-17 whereas its present installed capacity is 1,142 MW. To meet the 5 per cent SRPO target for 2017-18, the utility would require about 2,500-mw solar capacity.
Ramesh Kymal, chairman, Renewable Energy Council, CII-Godrej GBC and MD of Gamesa Renewable Pvt Ltd, said that tariff way is always better than bidding route. “Because, in bidding, you will find unrealistic tariff due to competition. It is more like gambling. They bring it down and then they don't know what to do. That's what happening. We have seen that in very low bids companies have not followed up with projects. It happened with some company in Madhya Pradesh and in Andhra Pradesh. Two of the very big players withdrew from the bids,” he told DC.