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Power minister Piyush Goyal announces 1,000 Megawatt wind energy auction scheme

According to reports, in a major step to enhance India’s renewable energy capacity, power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal today announced a scheme for auction of wind power projects of 1,000 Megawatt (MW) capacity that will kick off soon.

The announcement came following the two day conference of State Power Ministers here. “A major decision we came up with is to install another 1,000 MW wind bidding by the end of the month,” Goyal said.

The ministry said in a statement, the scheme is open for all obligated entities purchasing wind power for compliance of their non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will sign Power Purchase Agreements with selected wind developers and back-to-back Power Sale Agreements with buying utilities.

Another provision of 10 per cent additional capacity for Central Public Sector Entities (CPSEs) has been kept under the scheme without participation in the bidding, however, they have to supply wind power at lowest discovered tariff through bidding process, the statement noted.

“We do not apply interstate transmission charges. The benefit of that can be reaped by states like UP and Bihar which do not have sufficient wind capacity. We saw wind bidding for 1,000 MW at Rs 3.46 per unit in February. These states can utilize the power from states which have a higher wind capacity at lower rates and can also fulfil their RPO obligations,” Goyal said.

The Memorandum of Agreements (MoAs) for purchase of 1,000 MW wind power under ministry of new and renewable energy’s first wind auction scheme was also signed today between PTC India, the country’s largest power trader, and Discoms of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Odisha and Assam.

“The Letter of Award (LoA) to the successful wind power developers under the first wind auction scheme have been issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on 5 April and the projects are to be commissioned within 18 months from the date of issue of LoA,” the statement said.

According to the Memorandum of Agreement, the distribution utilities of UP will buy 449.9 MW electricity, Bihar 200 MW, Jharkhand 200 MW, Delhi 100 MW, Assam 50 MW and Odisha will buy 50 MW of wind power for meeting their non-solar RPO.

Speaking on the issue of delays in setting up hydro power plants, Goyal said there were several plants in the country where work had been stalled for years. “In Sikkim, the Rs 9,000 crore Teesta hydropower project was stuck. In March, we finally cleared the project. It will have a capacity of 1,200 MW. There was the Subansiri hydro plant as well in Arunachal worth Rs 6,000 crore which is shut. I had a meeting with the chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal and both of them assured that they will take it forward. We will now take it to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) soon,” Goyal added.

The minister also stressed on the need to improve grid integration and improve green energy corridors for improved uptake of renewable energy.

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