Ministry of Power Releases Revised Guidelines for Wind-Solar Hybrid Projects
The updated guidelines maintain the flexibility of placing solar and wind projects at the same or different locations, with the added provision for integrating energy storage. Notably, the minimum bid capacity has been adjusted to differentiate between intra-state and inter-state projects.
August 23, 2023. By Nivedita Ojha
The updated guidelines maintain the flexibility of placing solar and wind projects at the same or different locations, with the added provision for integrating energy storage. Notably, the minimum bid capacity has been adjusted to differentiate between intra-state and inter-state projects. Intra-state projects now require a minimum bid capacity of 10 MW, whereas inter-state projects retain 50 MW. Furthermore, the guidelines specify that one source, either wind or solar, must make up at least 33 percent of the total contracted capacity.
Bid parameters have also undergone significant modification. The earlier guidelines allowed for both fixed tariffs for 25 years or escalating tariffs with predefined annual escalations. However, the new guidelines mandate a fixed tariff in INR/kWh for the complete duration of the PPA.
Additionally, procurers are still granted the option to opt for e-reverse auctions for final bidder selection. The allocation limit remains capped at a maximum of 50 percent of the total capacity specified in the Request for Selection (RfS) document for a single bidder.
Bucket filling is known as capacity quoted by the least quoted tariff bidder (called the L1 bidder) at the rates quoted (L1 rates) shall be allotted first, then the capacity quoted by the next lowest bidder.
The successful bid range is now defined in the new guidelines as L1 + (2 - 5) percent to decide the successful bid, giving more clarity and structure to the bidding process.
Both guidelines ascertain that the Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) is not less than 30 percent, with this requirement explicitly stated in the bidding documents.
The PPA period has been reduced from 25 years to 20 years in the new guidelines, although extensions are permissible. Additionally, the commissioning timeline has been extended to 18 months for capacity less than 1 GW and 30 months for capacity exceeding 1 GW.
Part commissioning requirements have also evolved, with the new guidelines introducing a mandate for the first part commissioning to be 50 percent of the project capacity or 50 MW, whichever is lower, and subsequent commissioning in parts of around 10 MW.
The tariff adoption of the appropriate commission within 60 days of submission or within 120 days from the date of the Power Sale Agreement whichever is more.
Additionally, early commissioning is allowed at 75 percent of the PPA tariff.
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