Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMS), today announced that power supply from the Rewa Solar Power Project has commenced from midnight of July 6, 2018. The 750MW Solar Project in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh, spread over an area of 1590 acres, is among the largest single-site solar power plants in the world. Rewa project has been acknowledged in India and abroad for its robust project structuring and numerous innovations. Many of its features have been incorporated in the Standard Bidding Guidelines for solar parks issued by Government of India. The learnings from the development of this project can be utilized for the improvement of project implementation practices all over the globe.
This is the first project in the country supplying power to an inter-state open access customer, viz., Delhi Metro. This opens up an entirely new chapter in utilization of Renewable energy in the country, where large institutional open access consumers can start procuring inexpensive RE. This also diversifies the off taker categories, not limiting just to the state Discoms. MPPMCL, which supplies power to the state Discoms, will get 76% of the power produced from Rewa Solar Power plant, while the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will benefit from the remaining 24%. The project is estimated to meet up to 90% of the day electricity demand from DMRC. The commissioning of this project will potentially result in a saving of Rs 4,600 crore to state DISCOMs and Rs. 1,400 crore to Delhi Metro over its project life.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh said that, Rewa Project is a living example of transparency that Madhya Pradesh Government believes in. The bidding for the project was conducted online for as long as the bidders were interested, 33 hours without stop. The project made possible an investment of over Rs 4,000 crore in the State. He said that the environmental impact of the project is like planting 2.6 crore trees. He added that the project has started producing merely 17 months from the historical bidding in February 2017, which has been possible because of the support of the entire State Government.
Shri Narayan Singh Kushwaha, Hon’ble Minister for New & Renewable Energy said that “it is a matter of happiness that the project would give environmentally friendly power to the state at an extremely low rate of Rs. 2.97 per unit, which is even less than our average power procurement cost. It is also a matter of happiness that, after meeting the requirement of Madhya Pradesh, the power would also be supplied to Delhi Metro and Delhi Metro would run on MP’s power.”
The project is an important step in the clean energy targets of the country. The 750MW project would lead to avoidance of CO2 generation of 15.4 lac tonnes every year. This environmentally positive impact could have been accomplished by planting as many as 2.6 crore trees.
The Rewa Solar plant is India’s first and till now the only solar project to get funding from Clean Technology Fund (CTF), which is available at a rate of 0.25% for a 40-year period. It is also the first and the only solar park in India to get a concessional loan from the World Bank. The development of internal evacuation infrastructure of the plant has been undertaken with concessional funds from CTF and World Bank. This has enabled Rewa Project to have very low solar park charges, which was one of the contributing features behind the low tariff achieved in Rewa Project. The internal evacuation infrastructure has been developed with support from MP Transco. PGCIL has developed a 220/400 kV Inter-state transmission system for the project, which is without any expenditure to RUMS or the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The project features an innovative design of contracts to address the varying demand pattern of the off-takers. While all power projects in the country, in the conventional and renewable sector, have had proportionate power contracts, Rewa has developed innovative energy contracts. Optimum scheduling has been developed on first principles, which allows meeting almost 90% of the day time electricity demand of Delhi Metro.
The Project has a three-tier payment security Mechanism, implemented for the first time in India. Government of Madhya Pradesh extended its State’s Guarantee to ensure regular payments from MP Discoms to the developers. Another innovation of Rewa Project is the development of Payment Security Fund, purely on market principles with IREDA, and without any budgetary allocation from Government of India as was being done in other projects.
The project is being developed by Mahindra Renewables, ACME Solar Holdings and Solengeri Power – who emerged as the winners for project’s three units at tariffs of Rs 2.979, Rs 2.970 and Rs 2.974 for the first year. This was the lowest tariff discovered at that point in time through a bidding process for solar projects in India.
RUMS was created only in July 2015 as a Joint Venture of SECI and MP Urja Vikas Nigam, with Mr Manu Srivastava, Principal Secretary, New & Renewable Energy Department, Government of MP as its Chairperson from the beginning. It is to the credit of Government of Madhya Pradesh and RUMS that a state led entity has demonstrated global standards in project planning and execution. The confidence reposed by the industry in the process followed in Rewa Project is illustrated by the fact that 6 international companies, including Soft Bank, Engie (France), Enel (Italy), with a total of 20 companies participated in the bidding. The reverse online auction in the Rewa Project continued for 33 hours.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) an arm of the World Bank Group gave extremely competent transaction advisory support for the project. The project got World Bank Group’s President’s Award for innovation and excellence. The project was included in the Prime Minister’s “A Book of Innovation: New Beginnings”. The Project has been appreciated in Global Infrastructure Facility, created by the World Bank, for its optimum distribution of risks and has been held as a model project for attracting investment from multilateral banks, institutional investors, etc. into Emerging Economies.
The project got all possible support from various Ministries of Government of India(GoI), especially, MNRE, Ministry of Power, DEA, as also GoI organizations namely, SECI, PowerGrid, IREDA and NISE (which served as the Independent Engineer). The project was extended full support by Government of MP, especially, Departments of New & Renewable Energy, Energy, Finance, Revenue, Law, Forest, etc., as also MP Transco and MPUVN.
The project is an expression of commitment of Madhya Pradesh to fulfill the promises made by India to the world community and to the next generation of developing 100 GigaWatt solar energy by 2022.
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