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Punjab allows PSPCL purchase of 250-MW solar power

According to reports, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has approved the procurement of power from solar power generators which are in the process of setting up power-generating units in the state. The PSERC order followed a petition filed by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).The nod from the PSERC came after the competitive bidding process conducted by the state-owned Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). The PSPCL approached the PSERC for approval in its capacity as a power purchaser from generating plants.

The PSPCL, in its petition, has said that following the new and renewable sources of energy (NRSE) policy 2012, PEDA had allocated 250-MW of solar power projects to companies such as Punj Lloyd, Lanco Solar and Welspun Solar. There are about 20 companies which have offered to set up generating units in two categories 1 to 4 MW and 5 to 30 MW.

During the competitive bidding, the tariff for the solar power projects was found to be Rs. 7.20 to Rs. 8.70 per unit (1 to 4 MW) and Rs. 7.67 to Rs. 8.74 per unit (5 to 30 MW).

The present installed capacity for solar PV power projects in Punjab is about 10.75 MW and with the addition of 250-MW capacity and another 65-MW solar capacity in the pipeline.

The solar power of about Rs. 314 crore annually would be purchased from 250-MW capacity solar PV power projects at an average tariff of Rs. 8.37 per unit from 2015-16.

The PSERC, in its order, said the tariff approved would be applicable up to March 31, 2015, provided that the power purchase agreements (PPA) are signed in or before March 2014 and the entire capacity covered in each PPA is commissioned in or before March 2015. Earlier, PEDA floated tenders for setting up solar-generating 300-MW capacity; of all the bids received, PEDA found that tenders for 250-MW solar power were in order.

PEDA is seeking setting up solar power-generating units as per renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) made mandatory in the Electricity Act, 2003.

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