UPERC Rejects NPCL’s Petition Seeking EPC Developer for Solar Project in Greater Noida

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has rejected a petition filed by Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) seeking to select an Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contractor to develop an 8 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Jaun Samana village in Greater Noida, believing it could develop the project through SECI at a lower tariff.

In June 2017, UPERC had given its permission to NPCL to procure up to 16 million units (MU) per annum of solar power for a 25-year period from the proposed 8 MW solar project being developed in the Jaun Samana village under the guidelines of the tariff-based competitive bidding process for grid-connected solar projects.

However, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) later conveyed that on the allotted land, NPCL needs to set up its own solar power project, which will be completely owned by NPCL.

Following GNIDA’s advisory, NPCL decided to cancel the bidding process and instead engage an EPC contractor to develop the 8 MW solar PV project. NPCL then filed the petition to seek UPERC’s approval for selecting an EPC contractor.

In its order, the UPERC observed that NPCL could procure solar power through Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) projects. UPERC also questioned the need for NPCL to develop its own solar project when the most competitive solar power tariffs are quoted in auctions conducted by SECI.

UPERC has now asked NPCL to explore the possibility of procuring solar power from SECI. UPERC also asserted that NPCL will not be allowed to develop its own projects unless it can guarantee that the solar power rates will be lower than the rates quoted in SECI auctions.

Meanwhile, UPERC also adjourned a case relating to the petition filed by domestic renewable energy project developer Azure Power for the extension of the scheduled commissioning date and construction of the evacuation system for a 40 MW solar power project in the state’s Jalaun district.