Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has released guidelines for round-the-clock (RTC) power supply to distribution companies from renewable energy projects supplemented with coal-based thermal projects.
The guidelines aim at lowering the overall cost of power purchase and meeting the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) requirement for Discoms while addressing the issue of intermittency associated with renewable energy.
Under the guiding principle, RE generators are required to guarantee a minimum 85% power availability annually as well as during peak hours. Out of the total power supplied in a year, at least 51% should come from renewable energy sources and the balance from thermal sources.
The generators can pool energy storage to safeguard this minimum requirement of 51% renewable power annually, provided RE sources were used to store energy in the storage system.
The capacity will be awarded through tariff-based competitive bidding, in which a composite single tariff for renewable power supplemented with thermal power shall be quoted by the bidders. The PPA duration will be 25 years.
The generator shall estimate the composite tariff at the delivery point, which will be the Central Transmission Utility (CTU) interconnection point.
“The cost of thermal power varies with the price of coal, operation, and maintenance cost, etc. To accommodate such variations in the cost in the entire energy mix, 25% of the composite tariff shall be indexed and adjusted, with the index of domestic coal or the imported coal, as the case may be, as notified by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) from time to time,” said the guidelines.
Thus, the renewable energy supplied shall be paid at indexed composite tariff.
In case of shortfall below the 85% annual and peak-hours availability, the generator will have to pay a penalty calculated at 25% of the maximum indexed composite tariff payable during the year for each unit of the shortfall.
The penalty would again be 25% of the tariff if there is a shortfall in supply of renewable power below 51% of the total power supplied in a year.
Developers are required to bid for a minimum of 250 MW of power supply in order to fulfill economies of scale.