Bihar Adopts Tariffs of ₹2.6_kWh and ₹2.44_kWh for 450 MW of Solar Power

The Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) has adopted tariffs of ₹2.60 (~$0.035)/kWh and ₹2.44 (~$0.03)/kWh to procure 300 MW and 150 MW of solar power from NTPC and the Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI).

The Commission added that the proposed tariffs are competitive and in line with the prevailing market rates.

However, for the trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh, the Commission directed the parties to come to a mutual agreement and also comply with the provisions laid down in the regulation 8 (f) and 8 (d) of the CERC Trading License Regulations.

After going through the power sale agreements (PSAs) of NTPC and SECI, the Commission stated that many clauses of the two PPAs lacked uniformity. The Commission asked the parties to have a standard format for PSA, which should be adopted by all stakeholders.


Earlier, Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) had filed two petitions on behalf of North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) for approval to procure power on a long-term basis. It had also requested the Commission to accept the delay in filing the petition for regulatory approval of 300 MW of solar power from NTPC.

The state power company had proposed to procure solar power for NTPC and SECI on a long-term basis for 25 years.

Background

In 2018, NTPC in its capacity as an intermediary agency had invited proposals for setting up interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar power projects for an aggregate capacity of 2 GW.  Similarly, SECI had invited bids for setting up of 3 GW ISTS-connected solar projects.

Later, NTPC conducted the auction for the 2 GW capacity and issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) to the selected bidder, SB Energy Six Private Limited at a tariff of ₹2.6 (~$0.035)/kWh.

NTPC executed PSAs with DISCOMs on March 08, 2019. After that, NTPC entered into PPAs with the successful bidders, but later on, the successful bidders Azure Power India Private Limited, Shapoorji and Pallonji, and ACME solar, terminated their PPAs for capacities of 300 MW, 500 MW, and 600 MW respectively.

Similarly, SECI conducted the auction for 3 GW capacity and issued LoI to selected bidders.

SB Energy Six Private Limited and ACME Solar holdings were among the successful bidders with a quoted price of ₹2.6 (~$0.035)/kWh and ₹2.44 (~$0.03)/kWh respectively with a trading margin of 0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh.

After the request of power procurement by distribution licensees, the capacity of 150 MW of another successful bidder ACME was allocated to NBPDCL & SBPDCL at the tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.03)/kWh. Accordingly, SECI executed PSA with DISCOMs and entered into PPAs with ACME on December 07, 2018. Further, NTPC and SECI approached the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for the adoption of the discovered tariff. CERC adopted the discovered tariff of ₹2.60 (~$0.035)/kWh and ₹2.44 (~$0.03)/kWh for NTPC and SECI respectively and approved mutually agreed trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh.

The Commission stated that the state DISCOMs, which are important obligated entities for RPO fulfillment in the state, are in dearth of solar power to meet the said RPO target. Therefore, allowing the DISCOMs to procure an instant quantity of solar power from the project developers will help mitigate the shortage of solar power to some extent.

The Commission further added that the purchase of renewable power, such as the present one, could not be avoided in the interest of fulfillment of RPO targets. Still, innovative and effective measures to utilize the excess capacity will go a long way in making an affordable supply of electricity to consumers.

Recently, SECI once again extended the bid submission deadlines for two of its tenders. These two tenders are for 2 GW of ISTS-connected (Tranche IX) solar projects and 2 GW of ISTS-connected (Tranche IX) wind project.

Earlier, NTPC extended the last date to submit bids for the selection of solar power developers to set up 1.2 GW of ISTS-connected solar PV power projects in India.