The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) recently approved the power sale agreement (PSA) executed between the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for the purchase of 100 MW of wind-solar hybrid power on a round-the-clock (RTC) basis at ₹2.90 (~$0.037)/kWh along with the trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh.
The Commission directed WBSEDCL to explore all available avenues to exploit the surplus contracted conventional energy to minimize the burden of the power purchase cost on the consumers.
WBSEDCL had filed a petition seeking approval of the PSA.
SECI had floated the tender for supplying 400 MW of renewable energy round-the-clock on a long-term basis from wind-solar hybrid projects in 2019. ReNew Power had won the auction for the total tendered capacity of 400 MW quoting a tariff of ₹2.90 (~$0.037)/kWh.
The West Bengal state distribution company (DISCOM) has agreed to purchase 100 MW of the hybrid power from SECI, for which it signed the PSA on June 30, 2021, for 25 years from commissioning.
The tariff discovered was ₹2.90 (~$0.037)/kWh for the first year, with a yearly escalation of 3% for 15 years and no escalation after that. A trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh was to be payable to SECI.
WBSEDCL said that procuring hybrid power would help meet its solar and non-solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) requirements.
The Commission observed that WBSEDCL had proposed to purchase 710.28 MU of wind-solar hybrid power at an estimated capacity utilization factor (CUF) of 80.05%. It noted that WBSEDCL could achieve only 1.15% of the RPO target from April 1, 2021, up to December 31, 2021. Procuring the RTC wind-solar hybrid power would help WBSEDCL improve its renewable energy portfolio.
The Commission noted that the tariff of ₹2.90 (~$0.037)/kWh was lower than ₹5.29 (~$0.068)/kWh in the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) during FY 2021-22. The tariff discovered through a competitive bidding process was well below WBSEDCL’s average power purchase cost.
WBERC added that no interstate transmission system (ISTS) charges would be levied on the transmission of solar and wind energy through ISTS for the sale of power from projects commissioned before June 30, 2025, for 25 years from commissioning.
The state regulator added that SECI would purchase RTC wind-solar hybrid power from the developers selected through a competitive bidding process as per the guidelines of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) at ₹2.90 (~$0.037)/kWh with a trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh.
Considering the facts, the state regulator approved the PSA signed between WBSEDCL and SECI.
Last January, WBERC approved the PSA executed between India Power Corporation Limited and SECI for purchasing 100 MW solar-wind hybrid power. The PSA was approved for a tariff of ₹2.69 (~$0.036)/kWh with a trading margin of ₹0.07 (~$0.0009)/kWh.
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Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.