In a significant development on August 28, 2023, APDCL filed Petition before the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC), seeking approval for the adoption of a tariff determined through a transparent competitive bidding process for the procurement of 200 MW power from Grid Connected Ground Mounted Solar PV Projects in Assam. These projects are to be developed under the Build Own Operate (BOO) mode.
To initiate the project, APDCL floated two-part tender documents on February 20, 2023. These documents were widely publicized in national and local newspapers, as well as on the official APDCL website and a bidding portal. Despite three extensions of the bid submission date, only one bidder, SJVN GREEN ENERGY LIMITED, participated in the process.
The Commission permitted APDCL to open the bid documents under specific conditions, including obtaining necessary board approval and adhering to existing Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines. The APDCL Board had already approved the opening of the techno-commercial bids for the Solar Power Project in its meeting on June 28, 2023.
The Tender Evaluation Committee (TEC) reviewed the submitted documents and found SJVN GREEN ENERGY LIMITED to be techno-commercially responsive. Consequently, the Tender Purchase Committee -1 (TPC-1) approved the opening of price bids. It was noted that the final capacity of the project might depend on the available land.
SJVN GREEN ENERGY LIMITED initially quoted a tariff of ₹4.00 per kWh and did not participate in the e-reverse auction. TEC recommended initiating price negotiations with the sole bidder, which was subsequently approved by TPC-1. A committee was formed for price negotiations, leading to a mutually agreed-upon tariff of ₹3.90 per kWh during a meeting held on July 27, 2023.
Commission’s Decision and Recommendations
The Commission held a hearing on September 12, 2023, during which APDCL assured that all necessary norms and guidelines were being followed for procurement. However, it was highlighted that the project’s land had not been finalized yet, raising concerns about potential delays. The Commission advised that all revenue rules must be adhered to when the land is acquired, and APDCL should report on the land procurement.
After careful examination, the Commission adopted the tariff of ₹3.90 per unit for the procurement of 200 MW power from Grid Connected Ground Mounted Solar PV Projects. The Commission emphasized the need for timely project execution and compliance with the agreed-upon timeframes in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Both APDCL and SJVN GREEN ENERGY LIMITED were directed to ensure strict adherence to existing revenue rules during land procurement.
In conclusion, the Commission disposed of the petition, endorsing the tariff and issuing directives to prevent project delays and ensure regulatory compliance throughout the procurement process. This moves signals progress in Assam’s renewable energy sector.
Please view the document below for more details.