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India: 750 MW Rewa solar project to break new ground

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Bids for the proposed and much delayed 750 MW solar power tender in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh are expected to be submitted early next week, although another extension still seems likely. The project is being tendered by Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMS), a joint venture between Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Developers can bid for three project units of 250 MW each in a solar park being developed by RUMS. The tender offers large scale and enhanced bank ability because of its unique structuring aspects:

  • Power output will be sold to Madhya Pradesh utilities and Delhi Metro Rail on an open access basis plus the projects would benefit from state government payment guarantee and deemed generation compensation for grid unavailability significantly improving their risk profile particularly in comparison to other state government tendered projects;
  • BRIDGE TO INDIA expects tariffs to fall substantially below the INR 4.00 (US ¢ 5.9)/ kWh mark, the lowest ever for any utility scale project in India;
  • More states may incorporate some of the innovative measures from this tender to lower cost of their solar power procurement;

There are three unique features of this tender, which has been designed by the Government of Madhya Pradesh with assistance from International Finance Corporation (IFC) – inter-state open access sale of about 25% of power output to Delhi Metro Rail, a state government offtake payment guarantee and deemed generation compensation for grid unavailability. All these features are being adopted for the first time in a public solar procurement tender in India and may provide a template for future.

We believe that the overall risk profile for Rewa tender is amongst the best in India and similar to projects tendered by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which received the lowest-ever tariff bid in India of INR 4.34 (US¢ 6.4)/ kWh for a 70 MW project in Rajasthan in January 2016. Since then, module prices have declined by about 28%. Bidding interest in the tender seems strong with likely participants including SoftBank, Adani, ReNew Power, Enel, Engie, AES, FRV, Essel Infra, Azure Power and Hero Future Energies amongst others. Looking at all these factors,Tariffs are expected to fall substantially below the INR 4.00 (US ¢ 5.9)/ kWh mark, especially as there is a INR 0.05/kWh annual escalation in tariffs for 15 years and the tender provides 18 months for execution in a phased manner.

The Rewa tender has many unique features and addresses two of the most critical risks for solar project developers in India – offtake and grid availability. If the tender results are as competitive as expected, it would provide a template for other states for solar power procurement.

NTPC to buy assets of Chhabra power plant in Rajasthan

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State-owned NTPC has signed a “non-binding” deal to buy the existing and upcoming assets of the Chhabra thermal power plant, owned and operated by the Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (RRVUNL), a Rajasthan government undertaking.

RRVUNL has been looking for buyers for three years. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between NTPC and RRVUNL was signed on Wednesday and the former announced it on the exchanges on Thursday morning. While the cost of the plant is estimated at around Rs 15,000 crore, NTPC will currently pay around Rs 5,000 crore for the operational 1,000 Mw, according to sources.

The cost and power tariffs of the upcoming two units of 660 Mw each would be decided later, said NTPC executives. This is the first deal of the year for both the conventional power sector and NTPC. NTPC will restrict itself to buying the power assets and not the coal blocks attached to the power plant. The Parsa East and Kanta Basan coal blocks in Chhattisgarh were allocated to RRVUNL in the e-auction of coal mines in 2015. RRVUNL won the coal blocks by indicating that the Chhabra power plant was the end-user of those mines.

The coal mines are operational and RRVUNL last year appointed Adani Mining as their Mining Development Operator (MDO).

“The coal blocks are not part of the deal but NTPC would source coal from these mines as RRVUNL would sell the coal,” a senior NTPC executive said.

NTPC was roped in after no private player agreed to buy the plant in accordance with the terms the state government had set, sources said.

“The discussion with NTPC was on for some months and the deal culminated only recently. The move is in line with the organic growth of the company,” a senior executive said.

A non-binding MoU allows the parties in the deal to modify the terms later. The deal does not stand up in court.

NTPC in its statement said: “The organisations shall execute Binding Agreements based on the detailed due diligence being underway.”

For allowing cost pass-through and tariff determination by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), NTPC will have to enter into a definitive agreement with RRVUNL.

Source: livemint

NTPC to set up first wind power plant in Gujarat

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NTPC’s wind energy 50 mega watt project is to be set up at Rojmal in Gujarat at a cost of Rs323.35 crore

New Delhi: State-owned power producer NTPC Ltd Thursday said its board has approved its first wind energy project to be set up at Rojmal in Gujarat at a cost of Rs323.35 crore.

NTPC said in a statement that the approval granted on Wednesday is for a 50 mega watt (MW) project. The move is part of the company’s target of sourcing about 11% of its planned capacity of 128 gigawatt (GW) by 2032 from renewable energy. NTPC now accounts for about a sixth of the country’s over 300 GW power generation capacity.

The company also wants to achieve 10 GW of solar power capacity, out of the 100 GW that the government wants to achieve by 2022.

NTPC currently has about 24 GW of power generation capacity under construction. Out of this, about 4.5 GW is expected to be commissioned this fiscal.

Source: livemint.com

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