In a significant development in the renewable energy sector, the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) has filed a petition seeking approval for the Request for Selection (RFS) and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The aim is to procure power through a tariff-based competitive bidding process from grid-connected Solar Power Plants. These plants are linked to selected segregated agriculture feeders within the state of Uttar Pradesh, with a cumulative capacity of 150 MW. The power generated will be sold to the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) at various locations. This initiative is part of the larger mission to promote solar energy adoption and sustainability under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) scheme.
The petition outlines UPNEDA’s request for selection and PPA approval for power procurement from grid-connected solar power plants. These plants will be associated with selected segregated agriculture feeders at a cumulative capacity of 150 MW. The power generated will be supplied to UPPCL through the “rescue model” as part of the feeder-level solarization component of the PM Kusum scheme.
The PM Kusum Yojana, initiated by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), is a scheme designed to benefit farmers. In continuation of this scheme, MNRE has issued guidelines for the implementation of feeder-level solarization under PM Kusum. These guidelines specify the terms and conditions for inviting expressions of interest for tariff-based competitive bidding. This bidding process is intended for the installation of decentralized, ground-mounted, grid-connected solar or other renewable energy-based power plants.
UPPCL, with the consent of UPNEDA, is proposing to invite tariff-based competitive bidding for the procurement of a cumulative capacity of 150 MW from the designated agriculture feeders. These feeders have been identified as per UPPCL’s guidelines, and successful bidders will enter into PPAs with UPPCL for a 25-year term.
This initiative builds on UPNEDA’s previous efforts, where they conducted tariff-based competitive bidding for 150 MW of solar power capacity under the PM Kusum C2 scheme. The Commission approved the RFS documents for this procurement in an order dated April 5, 2023. However, due to the receipt of only one bid against the tender issued on April 14, 2023, UPNEDA canceled the tender.
In response to the cancellation, UPNEDA conducted stakeholder consultations on June 10, 2023, and subsequently released a revised RFS on July 28, 2023, after incorporating feedback from stakeholders. A pre-bid meeting was also held on August 8, 2023, to address bidder concerns and encourage greater participation.
The draft RFS and PPA documents, prepared by UPNEDA after taking into account feedback from prospective bidders following the pre-bid meeting, have been submitted for approval by the Commission.
During the hearing, UPNEDA’s representative provided insights into the scheme’s features. It was noted that 98 substations with 143 segregated agriculture feeders have been earmarked for solarization. Solar power developers will be selected through tariff-based competitive bidding, and they will establish solar plants substation-wise, based on the average consumption of the last three years on the associated agriculture feeders.
The initiative is also financially supported, with the central government assisting ₹1.05 crore per MW, the state government contributing ₹50 lakh per MW, and UPNEDA facilitating loan arrangements to achieve financial closure. Furthermore, farmers can participate in the bidding process, and the operation and maintenance responsibilities during the 25-year PPA term will rest with the selected bidders.
UPNEDA’s petition seeks approval for amendments made to the RFS and PPA documents following the cancellation of the April 14, 2023 tender. These changes are the result of stakeholder consultations and pre-bid meetings. The Commission has approved the revised documents, paving the way for further progress in the solarization of agriculture feeders under the PM Kusum scheme.
The initiative holds significant promise for the state’s renewable energy sector, providing both environmental and economic benefits while advancing the goals of the PM Kusum scheme.
Please view the document below for more details.