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In a recent order, West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) approved power usage agreement (PUA) between Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and NTPC REL for 100MW solar power purchase at INR 2.45/Kwh for 25 years duration.
IREDA, nodal agency for Ministry of New and Renewable (MNRE)’s central public sector undertaking (CPSU) scheme for setting up 12,000MW grid connected solar PV projects with viability gap funding (VGF), issued request for selection (RfS) dated 29.01.2021, for setting up 5 GW solar capacity under CPSU scheme Ph-II (Tranche III). After the competitive bidding process, NTPC ltd was allocated 1990MW capacity as one of the L-1 bidder. Under the total allocated 1990MW capacity, NTPC REL would execute 315MW in Khavda-1 solar PV station at Kutch, Gujarat.
In view of the dismal RPO compliance at 0.9% in FY 2021-22, DVC agreed to purchase 100MW solar power from NTPC REL for 25 years. Subsequently, both the parties entered into a power usages agreement dated 01.02.2022 for a period of 25 years. Estimating annual capacity utilization factor (CUF) at 33.32% on 100MW capacity, expected annual power sale from total 100MW capacity would be 291.88MU. DVC claimed the percentage share of power sale for West Bengal would be 43.05%, which turn out to be 125.56MU of solar power. The petitioner also noted the agreed usages charges of INR 2.45/Kwh will be exclusive of any other 3rd party open access charges like wheeling charges and transmission charges and losses, point of connection (POC) charges and losses, cross subsidy surcharges (CSS), SLDC/RLDC charges etc. Also DVC will be exempted from paying any inter state transmission charges (ISTS) as the estimated project commissioning date will be within 30.06.2025.
Commission’s Analysis And Order
After analyzing all inputs received from DVC, about the power usages agreements (PUA) between DVC and NTPC REL, commission observed the following points.
1. As DVC could only achieve 0.9% of solar RPO in FY 2021-22, the proposed PUA will help DVC to improve its RPO compliance.
2. The agreed usages charges @ INR 2.45/Kwh would be well below the average power purchase cost (APPC) @ INR3.59/Kwh for DVC. Thus commission find the solar power purchase from NTPC REL will be beneficial for the end consumer.
In the above context, commission approved the PUA agreement @2.45/Kwh usage charges between DVC and NTPC REL for 25 years duration. Commission also asked DVC to comply with state’s applicable power scheduling law like intra state ABT meter, state grid code etc.