From The Times of India
NEW DELHI: The power distribution companies in the city are going out of their way to procure renewable energy to meet the green targets set by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
The BSES discoms, Rajdhani and Yamuna, have been exploring options to procure renewable energy at competitive rates so they don’t have to burden their consumers while meeting the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets.
“We are seeking to procure around 700MW of green energy at competitive rates. This will be the largest private sector ‘green’ bid in India under the MNRE guidelines,” said a spokesperson.
To source renewable power, the BSES discoms had floated a tender in November 2014 where the lowest bid received was at Rs 6.19 per unit and the average at Rs 6.4 per unit. “Finding the price expensive and due to constant reduction in solar prices, we wrote to DERC withdrawing the earlier tender and requested permission to procure both solar and non-solar power through ‘reverse auction’,” said an official.
In an order dated December 29, 2015 DERC allowed the BSES discoms to procure renewable power through this process in line with MNRE guidelines.
Discom officials said it will enable them to honour their RPO without burdening consumers and procure renewable power at a lower cost. The savings would be around Rs 1.50 per unit, translating into annual savings of around Rs 200 crore.
The other discom, Tata Power Delhi, is also making such tie-ups.
The move by the discoms is a major step as environmentalists have been pushing for ‘clean, green’ power in view of increasing pollution levels in Delhi. The discoms had tried to have their RPO obligations waived off in their tariff petitions last year by claiming “it was critical to control rising power purchase costs and keep tariffs in check”.
The scheme, which became a part of the tariff from the financial year 2012-13, makes it obligatory for the discoms to source a fixed percentage of the total power from renewable sources. The targets, which started with 3.4% in 2012-13, increased to 7.6% in 2015-16. However, the discoms have never met the targets, resulting in an accumulated RPO.