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Regulator moots promo tariff for solar power in Kerala

According to reports, renewable obligation for licensees of power distribution in the State for 2012-13 will be about four per cent of consumption. At least 0.25 per cent of this will be sourced from solar, according to Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The commission proposes to bring out promotional tariff for the solar PV plants of varying scale in the State. As a first step, promotional tariff for solar projects supplying to the grid is considered.

The commission observed that even though many thin film technologies offer 25 year performance warranties, there is no long-term performance data available.

There is a need within the market to develop confidence on the long-term performance in the harsh Indian weather conditions. Solar power projects primarily depend upon efficiency of the photovoltaic technology and type of (solar) tracking system used.

Land requirement increases for photovoltaic projects utilising either lower efficiency technologies or solar tracking.

It is acknowledged that tracking technologies would require more area, but the cost of land is compensated through the increase in the plant’s energy yield.

Considering the limited availability of land in the State, the cost of land can form substantial portion of capital cost. However, the land cost can be optimised through contractual arrangements or leasing to reduce the impact on capital cost.

This is especially critical in the case of large projects (megawatt scale), the commission noted.

Small systems are generally installed on roof-top, thereby saving cost of land. The developer can obtain the roof-top space through leasing or rental basis, without ownership.

The commission has proposed a capital cost of megawatt scale projects at Rs10 crore per MW, and that of kilowatt-scale (mostly roof-top) projects at Rs1.2 lakh per KW.

This shall include the cost of land if required, and the cost of interconnection up to the distribution licensee system.

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