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Gridco may miss solar power purchase target for 2012-13

According to reports, state owned power trading firm Gridco is likely to miss its solar power purchase obligation for 2012-13. As per the renewable purchase obligation fixed by power regulator Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), Gridco was to purchase 25.75 million units of solar power.

But the bulk power purchaser has procured only 12.45 million units (mu) till December, leaving a deficit of 13.29 mu which seems unlikely to be met.

Gridco has purchased 6.54 mu from solar power projects set up in the state and the balance 5.9 mu as bundled power from NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the maharatna power firm.

Minister for science & technology Ramesh Majhi said in a written reply in the state assembly that as per OERC norms, Gridco and other obligated entities are required to purchase 0.15% of solar power for 2012-13. The overall renewable purchase obligation was pegged at 5.5% for 2012-13.

In 2011-12, Gridco had a huge shortfall of 17.671 mu in terms of solar power purchase. In the same fiscal, all captive generating plants with the exception of J K Paper failed to purchase even a single unit of solar power.

Regarding shortfall in solar purchase obligation by the obligated entities, the minister said the matter has been duly reported to OERC. The commission has been requested to impose penalty as envisaged under Section 7 1(1) and (2) of Renewable and Co-Generation Purchase Obligation (RCPO)-2010.

In order to facilitate Gridco to achieve its solar purchase obligation, Majhi said a total capacity of 13 Mw solar power projects have been installed and commissioned in the state. A 5 Mw solar power plant has been alloted through tariff based bidding process in Phase-I which is expected to be commissioned on June 26, 2013.

Solar power of 172 Mw capacity has been projected for the state by 2015-16. Renewable energy potential in Odisha has been assessed at 11,820 Mw, with solar energy having the highest potential at 10,000 Mw among all green energy sources.

The potential for solar photo-voltaic source is the highest at 8,000 Mw followed by solar thermal and wind power at 2000 Mw and 910 Mw respectively.

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