Orissa targets generating 50 MW of solar energy in 2012-13

At present 10 MW of solar power are being produced in the state. This apart, the process of selecting developers to generate an additional 25 MW is over. For 2012-13, we have set a target to generate solar power of 50 MW, said Ramesh Majhi, Minister for Science and Technology, in the state assembly.

Recently, Kolkata-based Alex Astral Power Private Ltd bagged the contract for setting up of a 25 MW solar power plant in Orissa. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 300 crore. The project is likely to come up in Bolangir district considering the amount of solar radiation the area gets.Alex will sell solar energy at Rs 7 per unit to Gridco and in turn, the bulk power power purchaser will agree to buy power from Alex for a period of 25 years. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is expected to be signed in the last week of April this year. The project will have 70:30 debt-equity ratio.

The first solar power plant in the state with a capacity of one MW was commissioned by Hyderabad-based Raajratna Energy Holdings Private Limited (REHPL). This was commissioned in a record time of five months at an estimated cost of Rs 16-17 crore.

To give a boost to solar power generation, Gridco had signed PPAs with eight solar developers, each with a capacity of 1 MW. It had also inked an MoU with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to avail generation based incentive (GBI) under the Union ministry of new & renewable energy (MNRE) under Rooftop Photovoltaic and Small Solar Generation Programme (RPSSGP) scheme.

Besides, Gridco had also entered into power sale agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, to avail solar power bundled with equivalent capacity of thermal power from unallocated share of upcoming NTPC stations under ‘New Solar Projects’ scheme of MNRE. Under this scheme, 20 MW of solar power has been allocated to Gridco.

The National Tariff Policy mandates each state electricity regulatory commission (SERC) to specify a renewable energy purchase obligation by the states in a time-bound manner where solar purchase obligation (SPO) is a part.The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has fixed RPO of five per cent for 2011-12 of which 0.1 per cent would be from solar power.