MERC Approves Deviations of 225 MW Grid Connected Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Projects By TATA Power

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Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) passed an order in the Case of The Tata Power Company Ltd – Distribution seeking approval for the Bidding Documents for long term procurement (25 years) of 225 MW capacity from grid connected Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Projects through competitive bidding process for meeting its Renewable Purchase Obligations.

The Tata Power Company Ltd – Distribution (TPC-D) has filed the petition seeking approval for the Bidding Documents for long term procurement (25 years) of 225 MW capacity from grid connected Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Projects through competitive bidding process for meeting the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) based on National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy dated 14 May, 2018.

Tata power main prayers are as follows: a) To approve the Bidding Documents (Draft RFS and Draft PPA) prepared for procurement of wind solar hybrid power from grid connected wind solar hybrid power projects. b) To accord approval for initiation of competitive bidding process for procurement of 225 MW Hybrid power from grid connected Wind Solar Hybrid Power Projects through competitive bidding process (To be conducted through appropriate E-procurement platform). c) To consider the procurement of such power from grid connected Wind Solar Hybrid Power projects as purchase towards meeting the total Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of Tata Power-D. d) To approve publishing of Notice to Invite tender (NIT) through two national e-newspaper if Tata Power-D is unable to publish it through print newspaper due to the current COVID-19 situation. 

The 225 MW hybrid quantum for which the bid has been called is kept in line with the RPO quantum approved by the Commission in MYT Order dated 30 March 2020 in Case No. 326 of 2019.The computation of the quantum is as following:

Commison has approved the following changes in the RFS document in regards to this petition some of them are as follows: In order to minimize and optimize the number of claims and optimize the costs, energy and time, under this, we propose that if any change in law event results in change of project cost, it should result in impact equivalent to at least 1% of estimated revenue in contract year.Term of PPA is 25 years from Commercial Operation Date for new projects and 25 years from signing of PPA for existing project.

The Commission notes that TPC-D has projected that it will require about 690 MUs of Renewable Energy to meet its RPO Targets for the period from FY 2021-22 to FY 2024-25, as notified by the Commission. Accordingly, TPC-D has proposed to procure the 225 MW of Wind-Solar Hybrid power project through a competitive bidding process. 

The Commission notes that the Guidelines from the Central Govt. for Wind-Solar Hybrid projects are still in draft stage and hence the Commission has to take holistic view of other notified guidelines (wind and solar separately) and SECI’s bid document for hybrid projects, to approve the deviations sought by TPC-D.

The Commission also notes that in its RE Tariff Regulation, 2019, the Commission has specified the minimum CUF as 28% and 30% for Solar and Wind Projects respectively. Therefore, the Hybrid projects which optimizes multiple resources have to outperform such individual CUFs. Accordingly, the Commission accords its approval for a minimum CUF of 35% at the Delivery Point for the 225 MW Wind-Solar Hybrid project. 

TPC-D has proposed various fees/charges for RfS Document, conditions of Net worth, requirement of Liquidity etc. in the bidding document. The Commission assumes that all such charges and financial requirements are proposed by TPC-D after proper due diligence and are accordingly approved by the Commission. 

TPC-D has also submitted that due to the current COVID-19 situation, if it is unable to publish the NIT through print newspaper, it shall be allowed to publish the NIT through e newspaper. During the e-hearing, the Commission conveyed that there are certain print newspapers which are still available despite the prevalent COVID-19 situation and directed TPC-D to explore them and ensure wide publicity is given for its NIT to get maximum number of bidders. 

Further, there were typographical errors in the draft RfS document which was communicated to TPC-D vide email dated 21 May, 2020. TPC-D in its reply dated 23 May 2020, submitted the rectified RfS document. The Commission directs TPC-D to ensure that there are no further errors in the final Bidding documents to be published. 

The commission has stated that The Commission accords its approval to the bidding documents for long term procurement (25 years) of 225 MW capacity from grid connected Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Projects through competitive bidding process as submitted by The Tata Power Company Ltd – Distribution and allows the deviations. The Commission also directs TPC-D to rectify all errors/repetitions in the Bidding document before finalizing the Bidding process. 

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