The Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) has approved the procurement of 10 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) power by Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

JBVNL had petitioned the JSERC to approve the power purchase agreement between it had signed with SECI for the procurement of 10 MW of solar PV power. JBVNL had requested the commission to adopt the rate of ₹5.50 (~$0.0789)/ kWh for a period of 25 years for the 10 MW project.

After going through the submissions made by the parties, the commission observed that all the obligated entities of the state should take sincere efforts to procure renewable energy from different sources to fulfill their renewable purchase obligation (RPO) target. Therefore, the decision of the JBVNL to purchase 10 MW of solar power is in line with its power procurement plan to meet its RPO.

The JSERC also observed that since SECI is procuring power from multiple sources and supplying to JBVNL, the commission has limited authority to allow it to purchase or not to purchase power at the discovered rate from SECI through the PPA for 25 years. According to JSERC, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has the complete authority to determine such rates.

The JSERC approved the proposal for the procurement of 10 MW of solar power from SECI at the proposed tariff and trading margin for 25 years, subject to the adoption of the discovered tariff by the CERC.

Solar tariff is hovering around the ₹2.80 (~$0.0401)/kWh mark in the recent auctions, and the power being procured in Jharkhand is almost twice the cost.

Mercom previously reported that the progress of Jharkhand’s solar sector had been severely hobbled by the inaction and delays on the part of the state’s implementing and nodal agencies.

In the past, in Jharkhand, although the Letters of Intent (LoIs) were signed for 1.1 GW of solar capacity, not even a single PPA was finalized between the developers and the off-takers at the end of the financial year 2016-2017. This derailed Jharkhand’s solar growth, and the solar industry lost faith in the state.

At that time, the Jharkhand officials found the tariff of ₹5.48 (~$0.0786)/kWh to be too high, and now they may have to procure solar power at ₹5.50 (~$0.0789)/kWh.

Image credit: Flickr