In a significant move towards bolstering solar power in Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has given the green light to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company’s (MSEDCL) petition. The approval centers on the initiation of a competitive bidding process through MSEB Solar Agro Power Limited (MSAPL) for the procurement of 7,000 MW of solar power under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana 2.0 (MSKVY 2.0).
The MSKVY 2.0 initiative, introduced by the Government of Maharashtra, aims to revolutionize the agricultural sector. Under its multifold objectives, this program is designed to achieve additional power procurement, reduce overall power costs, and enhance electricity quality for agricultural consumers during daylight hours.
MSEDCL’s petition highlighted the significance of the agricultural sector, which accounts for approximately 32% of Maharashtra’s total power consumption. The proposed project involves the incorporation of MSEB Solar Agro Power Limited (MSAPL) as a subsidiary of MSEB Holding Company Limited, acting as the nodal agency for the implementation of MSKVY 2.0.
Key features of MSKVY 2.0 include the identification and availability of revenue land around specified substations by MSAPL, aimed at expediting project implementation. The project plans to undergo bidding in multiple phases across various districts, with an initial 4,000 MW solar capacity targeted for commissioning by April 2025.
MSEDCL’s request for deviations from standard bidding guidelines, including capacity utilization factor (CUF), compensation for grid unavailability, and dispute resolution, was also approved by MERC. The approval underscores the importance of meeting renewable purchase obligations (RPO) and enhancing the quality and availability of power to agricultural consumers.
The project is anticipated to address the agricultural sector’s power demands effectively. MSEDCL’s careful analysis demonstrated potential savings in power purchase costs, contributing to the rationalization of dependence on conventional power sources.
Furthermore, the Commission’s approval of the proposed deviations aligns with the operational and procedural requirements of MSKVY 2.0. MERC has directed MSEDCL to adhere to specific timelines to prevent future delays and enhance project execution efficiency.
With this regulatory nod, Maharashtra takes a significant stride towards sustainable power procurement and fortifying its commitment to renewable energy goals. The successful implementation of MSKVY 2.0 could serve as a model for other regions, fostering a cleaner and more reliable energy future.