Karnataka plans 80 MW solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar thermal power projects

Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited floats RFP for 80 MW hybrid solar power projects. The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL), a state-owned nodal agency for promotion of renewable energy, has floated a request for proposal (RFP) from the power-producing companies for setting up of 80 MW grid connected solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar thermal power projects.

The solar energy project is envisaged under the Karnataka State Solar Policy 2011-12 to 2015-16. Under the policy, the state is looking to generate 200 MW solar power in five years.

“The KREDL has been authorised by the energy department, government of Karnataka to invite bids for 80 Mw grid connected solar power projects for the year 2011-12 and 2012-13 as per the policy. We will be issuing letter of intent to the selected companies within the next three months,” N S Prasanna Kumar, managing director, KREDL, said.

While, the aggregate capacity for both Concentrating Solar Thermal Projects and Solar Energy Photovoltaic Projects is 80 MW, the KREDL has allocated 30 MW for Concentrating Solar Thermal Projects and 50 MW for Solar Energy Photovoltaics projects. In case of Solar Thermal Projects, a bidder could propose projects having minimum capacity of 5 MW and the maximum capacity of 10 MW. In case of Solar PV projects, a bidder could propose projects having minimum capacity of 3 MW and the maximum capacity of 10 MW.

The power generated by the selected bidder will be purchased by the state energy supply companies through a power purchase agreement. The last date for submitting RFP documents is October 20, 2011, the KREDL said in its notification. This project is proposed to enable the Escoms to meet the requirements of renewable energy purchase obligations.

According to KREDL, the scope of the project includes designing, constructing, erecting, testing, commissioning and completing of the solar thermal project ô solar PV project and supply of contracted capacity. The operation and maintenance of the project also rests with the selected bidder as per the agreement.

The selected bidder will have to incorporate a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the Companies Act, 1956 to execute the agreement and implement the project.

The KREDL has fixed a period of 30 months from the date of signing of PPA to complete the solar thermal power project and 18 months to complete the solar PV power project and commission it. Presently, the state has three solar PV projects with 3 Mw each capacity commissioned by the state-owned producer, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) at Kolar, Belgaum and Raichur. Its fourth project with a capacity of 5 Mw is under construction at Shivasamudram in Mandya district.

The energy consumption in Karnataka is anticipated to be around 64 billion units per annum by 2015. At present, renewable energy sources contribute to about 4.6 billion units of energy per annum (11.5 per cent) out of the total 40,000 billion units available from various installed capacities.

To achieve a 20 per cent share, the renewable energy sources are required to contribute 12.8 billion units by 2014. This necessitates a renewable energy capacity addition of 6,600 MW by 2014.

Karnataka plans land use policy for wind energy

The Karnataka government would soon bring out an exclusive land policy for allotment of land for wind power projects. The policy will be modelled on Gujarat’s policy and will be announced in the next two to three months, a top government official said.

“There are several wind farm developers waiting for the allotment of land in the state. Many projects in the Western Ghats area are waiting to be completed. The government is taking some strict measures to retain only the serious players in the business of installing wind turbines projects,” N S Prasanna Kumar, managing director, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd said.

Making a presentation on Renewable Energy – Opportunities in Karnataka at a conference on power, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Thursday, he said out of the 400 wind power developers in the state, only 80 were active and the government would take measures to cancel the licenses given to non-serious players. As regards the mini hydel energy developers, he said the government has already cancelled licenses of some projects totaling 1,500 Mw due to the delays in commissioning them. The KREDL is also giving a thrust to upgrade the old projects. The agency has received proposals for a combined capacity of 500 Mw.

A survey is presently going on to assess the need for upgrading wind energy projects. The turbines need to be replaced with the latest technology, he said.

Kumar said, the government has identified 3,500 acres for allotment to biomass projects. A study has been initiated in association with TERI for assessment of biomass availability in the state, he said.

Speaking of solar energy projects, he said, the KREDL would soon issue letters of intent to project developers for a combined capacity of 80 Mw under wind and solar bundled projects. The state is aiming to have more grid connected solar PV projects with a capacity to produce 200 Mw by 2016, he said.

Of an estimated potential of 23,585 Mw in the renewable energy sector, the Karnataka government has so far allotted projects for a capacity of 14,391 Mw, Kumar added.