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MNRE Modifies Power Procurement Guidelines From Solar-Wind Hybrid Projects

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has modified the requirements for a tariff-based competitive bidding procedure for grid-connected solar-wind hybrid projects.

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The hybrid projects’ scheduled commissioning date (SCD) has been amended to 24 months from the date of execution of the power purchase agreement (PPA) or power supply agreement (PSA), whichever is later. Previously, this interval lasted 18 months.

As an alternate word for the procurer, the guideline has been updated to include ‘intermediary procurer.’ The word procurer was previously defined as a distribution licensee or their authorized agent.

According to the revised guidelines, if the distribution licensee permits a separate agency to carry out the tendering or bidding process on its behalf, the authorized agency will be accountable for meeting all the responsibilities placed on the procurer throughout the bidding process.

Encashment of performance bank guarantee on a per-day basis and proportional to the capacity not commissioned for delays in commissioning of up to 6 months from SCD.

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If the commissioning delay exceeds 6 months from SCD, a generator event of default will be contemplated, and the contracted capacity will be lowered to the project capacity commissioned up to SCD plus 6 months. The PPA for the unconsidered balance capacity will be cancelled.

To build up hybrid projects, developers must select a place with ideal irradiation and wind currents in the same spot, as opposed to pure solar or wind projects. 

The project will not be declared commissioned or partially commissioned until the generator displays possession of land, in addition to the other conditions established by the procurer or intermediate procurer for part commissioning.

The tariffs will be adopted by the competent Commission within 60 days after their submission. Also, any delay in tariff acceptance by the relevant Commission that exceeds 60 days will result in a comparable prolongation of the intended commissioning date.

Some industry players consider the lengthening of the project timeframe for hybrid projects from 18 months to 24 months as comfort for hybrid project developers who are struggling with wind turbine availability and rising pricing. Others see an increase in interest during construction (IDC) as the project approaches completion in six months.

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The rise in IDC may have an influence on project costs, which may be added to the output tariff if not borne by the developers.

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