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Sale of solar power to electricity dept: project on track again

According to reports, the Chandigarh Renewal Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society’s (CREST) proposal to sell solar power to the UT electricity department, which had hit a roadblock last month, is back on track. To clear the decks, CREST — which is executing rooftop solar photovoltaic power (SPV) projects on behalf of UT department of science and technology — has agreed to make amendments in the revised draft proposal regarding the sale of power generated from 10 rooftop SPV units. The revised proposal has been sent to the electricity department and will soon be submitted before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).

Last month, the project had received a blow after the electricity department had filed objections against the draft proposal CREST had submitted to JERC. In its petition before JERC, CREST had sought determination of preferential tariff under net metering for rooftop SPV projects and for sale of such power to the UT electricity department under the Electricity Act, 2003.

It had fixed the generic levelized generation tariff for the electricity at Rs. 8.75 per unit (kilowatt hour) to which the electricity department objected. Now, the society has agreed to let JERC determine the tariff.

The term of contract was another bone of contention: CREST wanted to enter a 30-year contract. Now, it has reduced the term to 25 years. The electricity department had also raised objections on the transmission ratio through high-tension (HT) and low-tension cables.

UT electricity department superintending engineer MP Singh said that there were certain conditions to which they had objected earlier. “We will purchase power on conditions similar to that of other sources from where we procure power,” said MP Singh. He added that CREST had made changes in their draft proposal, which would be again submitted before JERC.

Solar power projects being executed by CREST on behalf of UT department of science and technology are being funded by the Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). Solar power-generation units are being installed on the rooftops of government buildings.

These rooftop-based projects have been tendered and work¸ which includes installation of the SPV power plants and its operation and maintenance for the next 10 years, has been allotted to the successful bidder.

The draft proposal says that the expected life of a rooftop-based power plant is 30 years. A solar power plant should be able to generate a minimum electricity of 1,300 units (kWh) per annum per kilowatt-peak (kWp).

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