Gujarat government has proposed maximum tariff of Rs7.49 per unit, half of the original tariff of Rs15 per unit, to solar power developers, who fail to start their unit by January 28, 2012.
The state power utility Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) had signed power purchase agreements with solar power developers offering them tariff of Rs15 per unit for units commissioned on or before January 28, 2012, when the control period would end.
The tariff for units commissioned after January 28 is to be decided by Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC), but the state government says that it should not be more than Rs7.49 per unit.
“The tariff of Rs7.49 per unit was discussed during recently concluded competitive bid by NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVNL). Our view is that tariff for solar projects getting commissioned after January 28 should be maximum Rs7.49 per unit,” said DJ Pandian, principal secretary, energy & petrochemicals department.
According to industry experts, sharp fall in solar power tariff in less than one year or so is mainly on account of drastic fall in cost of solar equipments and improved technology.
A number of solar project developers have approached GERC seeking extension in the control period beyond January 28. They have cited delays in land allotment, heavy rains and other reasons for delay in construction and thus commissioning of their plants for seeking extension of the control period. The state government, however, is strongly opposing any extension, and has made its stand very clear before GERC.
“The solar project developers are coming up with unconvincing reasons for delay in commissioning their plants. Any extension in control period to enable developers to commission their projects beyond specified time for being entitled to get higher tariff would be against public interest,” added Pandian. In an affidavit filed with GERC, energy department said that many developers had completed their projects within specified time without any impediment related to land acquisition and other clearances. “It is not correct on part of the other developers to allege that there was a situation that prevented them from commissioning their projects within the specified time,” it said.
According to officials, GERC is expected to take a decision with regards to extending the control period and the tariff to be offered to solar projects commissioned after January 28 soon.
More than 500 mw of solar power generation capacity is expected to be operational in the state by January 28. Around 300 mw of capacity has either already been commissioned or is ready for commission. These developers would get Rs15 per unit for first 12 years and Rs5 per unit for next 13 years.