The reverse auctions for the country’s first round-the-clock (RTC) renewable energy supply tender concluded Friday evening, with ReNew Power quoting the lowest tariff of Rs 2.90/unit (for first year) for the entire 400 MW capacity which was offered by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), sources said.
Through this contract, the developer can supply power from any renewable energy- based plant, be it wind or solar projects, and address the central issue of unreliability associated with green energy.
FE had reported in May, 2019 that the government was coming up with 400 MW of renewable energy tenders for RTC electricity supply. Though the tariff under this tender will increase by 3% annually for 15 years, sources said that the levelised tariff would be around Rs 3.60/unit, which is currently the average power purchase cost from non-renewable sources in the country.
Since renewable energy is unpredictable in nature, other sources of energy are required for balancing it, increasing the actual cost of such power, dissuading state-run power distribution companies from buying such electricity. However, power buyers from this contract, in this case New Delhi Municipal Council and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, will be receiving emission-free electricity for the whole contracted capacity 24×7, irrespective of the sun shining or the wind blowing.
Industry experts pointed that such RTC contracts will also provide a leg-up to the power storage industry which is still in a nascent stage. The country has set a target to raise the capacity of installed renewable energy generation plants from the current level of 86.8 GW to 175 GW by the end of 2022. About 35 GW is under various stages of implementation and 32 GW under various stages of bidding.