VIJAYAWADA: With the Judicial Preview Committee clearing the 10,000 megawatt (MW) solar power projects, the Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL), a subsidiary of APGENCO, is awaiting the State government’s nod to float the tenders.
The officials said that the tenders would be invited in a phased manner under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model. They briefed Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy on the preparedness to take up the solar project, according to a statement from the department on Sunday.
On the occasion, the minister stated that effective implementation of the free 9-hour power scheme would help improve agricultural productivity, give a boost to rural economy and improve the living standards of farmers. The government is committed to providing free and qualitative power to agriculture sector for at least 30 years, he added.The scheme is also expected to offer significant economic benefits to the distribution companies and the State exchequer in the long term.
According to the officials, the average power purchase cost for AP Discoms is Rs 4.68/kWh as per the retail tariff order for 2020-21. The recent solar tariffs, which have been on the decline in various States, including margin (charged by SECI), are in the range of Rs 2.43 - to Rs 3.02/kWh. “If the mega solar project is set up in AP, the net present value of savings for the State is estimated to be over Rs 48,800 crore over the 30-year PPA tenure, after accounting for costs associated with backing down of thermal plants, balancing costs and revenue earned from the sale of renewable energy certificates,” said a senior official of APGECL.
Tenders for solar plants in 10 places with a cumulative capacity of 6,400 MW have been cleared by the Judicial Preview Committee. The government has planned to set up the mega solar project considering the growth in demand from agriculture sector.
“Agriculture consumption accounts for nearly 30 per cent of total power consumed in the State. In view of this, there is a need to provide assurance to the farming community on reliable and quality free power supply to agriculture during daytime for the next three decades. Solar energy has the potential to fulfil these objectives and the cost of production is less than the average power purchase cost of Discoms,” said Chairman and Managing Director of AP Solar Power Corporation Ltd G Sai Prasad. Considering the growth in total demand from agriculture consumers and average cost of supply, the government has planned to set up the mega solar power plants and it will be one of the biggest projects in the country, Sai Prasad added.
Energy Secretary Srikant Nagulapalli said that the government was contemplating setting up solar power plants in suitable locations in all districts of the State depending on technical parameters.