In June 2019, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had filed a petition with the Kerala Electricity Commission (KERC) to implement projects comprising a total capacity of 200 MW of solar rooftop systems during 2019-20 to meet its renewable purchase obligations (RPO). After examining the petition, the KERC has allowed KSEB to proceed with the tendering process for 200 MW of rooftop solar projects under the Soura Phase-1 program.
According to the petition, the KSEB had requested the commission to allow tendering of projects under three models:
Under Model 1, the rooftop and land of willing consumers will be utilized for installing solar projects by KSEB. The energy generated must be fed into the grid for 25 years, and a fixed percentage (10%) of the generation will be given as the incentive or lease rent to the premise owner for his use.
Under Model 2, KSEB will install rooftop or ground-mounted project in consumer premises and the energy generated will be sold to the consumer for 25 years through PPA at a fixed tariff.
Under Model 3, the consumer will be the investor, and KSEB will set up the solar project for the consumer, and excess energy will be fed into KSEB’s grid and settled as per net-metering regulations.
The first two models would be implemented by the KSEB through engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) model or renewable energy service company (RESCO mode) and the third model will be implemented by the developer under EPC mode.
Nearly 150 MW of projects would be developed under the tariff-based (RESCO) model, and 50 MW will be developed under EPC mode.
According to KSEB, the total investment required for the 50 MW under EPC mode is ₹2.5 billion, and the KSEB is coordinating with Punjab National Bank to arrange the finance.
Below are the upper ceiling rates for EPC bids and the upper ceiling tariffs for the RESCO model that have been set by KSEB in the petition submitted.
The KERC has advised KSEB to use an electronic portal for the tender process and adopt the upper ceiling tariffs and benchmark costs set by the CERC.
Further, the commission has also recommended that the tender documents must be prepared with the technical assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), engaged by the MNRE for assisting with the implementation of rooftop solar projects in the state of Kerala.
KSEB had started online registration of the program in July 2018 and closed it on January 31, 2019. A total, 2,78,257 consumers, registered under the program. Out of the total registration, around 70,000 applications have the best roof for installation of Solar PV systems, with total capacity about 400 MW, according to KSEB.
Last month, the Kerala government launched the Soura program to add 1,000 MW of solar projects to the existing capacity of KSEB by 2022. The projects will be implemented under the Urja State Kerala Mission and will be executed to fulfill the state’s renewable purchase obligation.
Recently, the KSEB had invited interested local bidders for the selection of an EPC contractor for the development of grid-connected rooftop solar projects on buildings owned by the district panchayath of Thiruvananthapuram.
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.