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The National Solar Energy federation of India (NSEFI), the largest developer-led body in the Solar sector of India, has presented a new pitch to the MNRE in support of part commissioning of solar projects of up to 10 MW each.
Indu Shekhar chaturvedi, Secretary of MNRE, received a letter dated April 16 from the Solar body. This letter reiterates a request that it made on September 17, 2021. While wind developers can commission large projects in lots of 10MW, utility-scale solar developers must limit their capacity to 50 MW. In a January 13th Letter, wind developers were granted the ability to part-commission 10 MW lots. This was for the period of June 30 2022. This is specifically for projects under SECI’s Tranche I to Tranche VIII.
NSEFI’s previous letter argued for smaller lots due to the numerous supply disruptions that developers faced in 2020-21. These could be issues at Source country (China) or suppliers reneging upon commitments. The latest letter, however, has a new urgency.
To support its argument, the body points to the country’s tight power supply, even though peak summer demand is imminent. The situation is further complicated by reduced coal supplies, and outages at thermal power plants. This is evident in the market-clearing prices discovered on the exchanges. They have remained above Rs 8./kWh on average throughout the months March and April 2022. It is essential that every available generation capacity be commissioned in such a scenario and used to improve the supply situation.” Subrahmanyam Pulipaka CEO, NSEFI.
NSEFI’s decision is a positive one. This is not only because of the facts about the power situation but also because partial commencement in smaller lots doesn’t seem to violate any terms of PPA agreements between developers and different bodies. As we understand, liability for possible supplies by scheduled commercial data will not change. It is probable that all of these capacities will fall well below the cost the country currently pays for thermal power, given the precedent in Wind energy projects.