Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Govt targets 1.75L MW green power by 2022; to set up 5 UMPPs

Trying to strike a balance between clean and conventional energy, government today set a target of 1.75 lakh MW from green power as also plans to set up 5 UMPPs entailing investments of about Rs 1 lakh crore. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his first full-year Budget for 2015-16, said: "Five more ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), under the plug and play model will be set up with total investments of Rs 1 lakh crore." UMPP is a coal-fired power plant that has 4,000 MW generation capacity. 

Jaitley also announced renewable power production target of 1,75,000 MW by the year 2022. 

Of this, solar power will have a lion's share of 1,00,000 MW, followed by 60,000 MW from wind energy, 10,000 MW biomass energy and 5,000 MW of small hydro projects. 

As for pushing UMPPs, Jaitley said that under the "plug and play" system, coal blocks will be auctioned after they are granted various clearances to speed up and simplify mining and get better valuation. 

The proposal for setting up the thermal plants follows government's scrapping price bids for two proposed UMPPs -- Bedabahal (Odisha) and Cheyyur (Tamil Nadu). The bids were cancelled as they received tepid response from the private sector and funding issues raised by bankers. 

The Power Ministry has now appointed a panel which is reviewing the situation and examining the documents to determine if the methodology adopted at the time of tendering these projects was fair. 

One of the proposed UMPPs is likely to be set up in power starved state of Bihar. The proposed plant in Bihar may be fed from a mine either in Jharkhand or Odisha. 

Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said in November that sufficient number of coal blocks will be allotted for the purpose. 

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is the nodal agency for UMPPs in the country. 

So far, 4 UMPPs have been awarded, of which Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.

Tangedco starts signing deal with solar developers

Chennai: Two years after the State government came out with the solar energy policy, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has started signing power purchase agreements (PPA) with solar developers.
A senior Tangedco official told DC that they had signed PPAs with six solar developers for a quantum of 35 MW. “These are small projects with a capacity of 5 to 6 MW each,” the official said.

After the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) fixed a solar tariff of Rs 7.01 per unit on September 12 last year with a validity of one year, nearly 78 solar developers offered to set up 2300 MW plants in the state, the official said, adding that the commission approved the draft PPA on January 22 after which, on Wednesday, the Tangedco commenced the process of signing agreements with the developers.
“We are ready to sign agreements with all the solar developers as we wanted to achieve the target of 3,000 MW of solar power by 2015,” the official said, adding that there was hesitation among the developers who were planning to set up large capacities as they would not be able to commission them to the full before the end of September 12, 2015, until when the Rs 7.01 per unit tariff was valid. 
The official said that unless the TNERC extended the time to March 2016, big players would not come forward to set up their plants. Soltech Equipments managing director T. Sriraman said that they were planning to sign a PPA to set up a 100-MW solar project in Ramanathapuram district. He said that they were expecting an extension of time as the banks would not be able to sanction finances before May. 
With the PPA being signed at the fag end of the financial year, the banks would be processing their new financial proposal  in the next fiscal year by May, he said, adding that this meant that the project would be delayed by two or three months.

Telangana working out plans to bridge power shortage gap

The Telangana government is exploring various alternatives to bridge the gap of about 200 MW of estimated net power shortage during this summer. Swapping of RLNG with natural gas and possible connectivity with Eastern Grid via Vijayawada-Nellore corridor are the two options being actively considered for availing 500 MW more, as per the information shared by the Telangana Energy Principal Secretary, Aravind Kumar.

Based on previous years’ demand, a shortfall of 900 MW to 1,000 MW is projected State-wide for the next three months, Mr. Kumar said, while interacting with the media on the sidelines of ‘Solar Energy Investment and Technology Forum’ here on Wednesday.

Of this, about 250-300 MW will be met through naphtha-based production in the existing plants run by independent power producers while supply of 500 MW is expected from the NTPC’s Kayamkulam plant in Kerala, which is also naphtha-based. Further, Thermal Powertech Corporation owned by Gayatri Projects is already supplying 100 MW.

The Power Grid Corporation of India has expressed optimism that the Vijayawada-Nellore corridor may become functional in near future, and if it happens, 500 MW may be availed from the central pool through High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission at Gajuwaka.

On the non-renewable front, Mr. Kumar said bids will be called for setting up of solar power plants of another 1,000 MW capacity in the coming 15 days, in addition to the 505 MW for which bids are already finalised and signing of PPAs is under way. Power, thereof, would be connected to the grid latest by March next.

Further, extension might be given to solar projects of about 250 MW which could not be launched on time due to State bifurcation.

The aim is to reach the goal of 5,000 MW of non-renewable energy through private producers in the coming four years. Interest is also expressed by public sector companies such as NTPC, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation to set up solar plants, provided that the State government offers land. Process is on to work out the cost for such power, Mr. Kumar informed.

Source: The Hindu

US firms plan to build 20,000 MW solar power in India

New Delhi: US solar firms SunEdison and First Solar have announced plans to build more than 20,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity in India by 2022.

"India has a critical need to add capacity to its grid as it continues to experience strong economic growth and growing demand for energy," said Pashupathy Gopalan, president of SunEdison Asia-Pacific.The companies' India plans were announced Sunday at the start of the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and Expo (Re-Invest) here being held Feb 15-17 to attract large scale investments for solar and wind power generation in the country. The three-day meet was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
SunEdison said it would build 15,200 MW of solar and wind power capacity by 2022, while First Solar made a commitment to develop 5,000 MW by 2019.
The Rajasthan government recently entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sun Edison India and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services for establishing a solar park with a generation capacity of 5,000 MW.
India wants to raise its energy mix from renewables to 15 percent, from the current six percent in a period of 10-12 years, Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal told the conference.
The government has revised upwards the target of solar power generation from 20,000 MW by 2022 to 100,000 MW by 2020.
Towards increasing the use of clean energy, the India-US nuclear agreement, concluded during President Barrack Obama's visit here last month, has eased the way for foreign firms to develop nuclear energy in India.
Source: Zee News

Govt plans to set up 25 solar power parks to promote renewable power generation

The union minister of state for coal, power and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, said that the government is ambitious to promote clean energy in the country.
He also outlined the Modi government's plans of increasing renewable power generation in the country.
"We are encouraging setting up of solar power projects through measures like grant of subsidy on off-grid applications, provision for renewable purchase obligation for solar in the National Tariff Policy, concessional import and excise duty exemption for setting up of solar power plants, accelerated depreciation and tax holiday, generation-based incentive and facility for bundled power for grid-connected solar power," he said, adding there are projects through various interventions announced from time to time.
Several research and development efforts have been initiated for new technologies and improvement in efficiency.
The government has accorded in-principle approval for setting up solar parks in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab and Telangana.
Projects under central or state schemes shall come up in these solar parks. Goel also said that various schemes have been launched to set up grid-connected solar power plants.
This includes setting up of 25 solar parks and ultra-mega solar power projects of aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW in various states and pilot-cum-demonstration project of 100 MW for development of grid connected solar photo voltaic power plants on canal banks and canal tops.
There is also a scheme for setting up 1,000 MW of Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Projects by Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-V of Phase-II of JNNSM.
All states have been requested to identify land for establishment of solar parks.
No proposal, however, has been received under this scheme from the Haryana. The ministry is promoting generation of electricity from various agro-residues including paddy straw.
A target of 400 megawatt biomass power projects for the 12th plan period and 100 megawatt during the current financial year has been set up.
Besides, fiscal incentives such as accelerated depreciation, concessional customs duty, excise duty exemption, income tax holiday for 10 years and preferential tariff are provided for biomass power projects.
The Central Financial Assistance of Rs 25 lakh per megawatt in special category states and Rs 20 lakh per megawatt for other states with a cap of Rs 1.50 crore per project is being provided by the ministry for setting up of the biomass power projects.

Tamil Nadu to Buy 3,000 MW Solar Energy; 200 Firms Express Interest

CHENNAI: The State government is trying to procure 3000 MW of solar power by the end of 2015 and more than 200 firms have shown interest in signing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 2000 MW so far, says the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited, M Saikumar.
Speaking on Tuesday at the commissioning of a rooftop solar power plant at Ramakrishna Mission, Mylapore, Saikumar said the present cost of solar power, which was more than Rs. 7 a unit, would come down to Rs. 5.45 by next year.
Another senior TANGEDCO official said the PPAs for around 200 MW of solar power had already been signed in the last 10 days. These power plants were likely at Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar and Tuticorin districts, the official added.
The power company also conducted load flow studies - a numerical analysis to determine the voltages, currents and power flows in a system under a given load condition - for around 2000 MW and had given letters of intent to these developers, the official said.
The PPAs, he added, could be signed after the deposit was paid.