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Gridco may miss solar power purchase target

According to reports, The Grid Corporation of Orissa Ltd (Gridco) is likely to fall short of its target to buy 23.5 million units of solar power in 2011-12 due to delay in commissioning of certain projects. “By the end of September, we will have 8 MW solar power capacity in the state. We have a target to buy 10 MW from this source by January next. I doubt about meeting the target,” said P K Pradhan, director (commercial), Gridco.

According to the National Tariff Policy, each state electricity regulatory commission specifies a certain amount of renewable energy purchase by the state in a time-bound manner. The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has fixed renewable power purchase obligation for Gridco at five per cent of total consumption for 2011-12, out of which 0.1 per cent would be from solar source.

Under the green power purchase plan, Gridco has been mandated to buy 45 million units of solar power by 2013-14. So far, it has got only 1MW from a newly commissioned solar power plant in Bolangir. In August 2010, Gridco had signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with eight solar power developers, each with a capacity of 1 MW.

“We expect to get another 7 MW from these projects by the end of September, otherwise they will lose their claim of subsidy. Even after these 8 MW, we will still be behind our solar power purchase target for the year,” Pradhan said.

Gridco is hoping to meet its mandatory solar power requirement from National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for which it has signed a pact with the power major.

In April this year, Gridco entered into a PPA with NTPC for purchase of 10 MW of solar power. As per the agreement, Gridco would purchase 5 MW each from NTPC’s Dadri plant in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad solar power station in Haryana.

“I am betting on NTPC solar power, which may supply 5MW by the end of this year. But If we don’t meet the target, we will have to pay penalty money to OERC,” said Pradhan.

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