UPERC asks NPCL to source solar power through SECI

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has rejected a petition filed by Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) for selecting an engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractor for development of a solar project.The proposed solar project has a capacity of 8 MW and was to be set up in the Jaun Samana village in Greater Noida. The UPERC has argued that NPCL could develop the project through the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) at a lower tariff and therefore did not need to tender the capacity itself.

In June 2017, UPERC had provided NPCL a permission to procure up to 16 million units (MU) of solar power on a yearly-basis for a 25-year period from the proposed 8 MW solar project under the guidelines laid out for tariff-based competitive bidding process for grid-connected solar projects.However, as per Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) regulations, NPCL needed to set up its own solar power project on the allotted land, which would have to be completely owned by NPCL. Following GNIDA’s advisory, NPCL had cancelled the bidding process and instead engaged an EPC contractor to develop the capacity and filed a petition with UPERC, seeking its approval for the selection of an EPC contractor.

However, since projects tendered through SECI have seen some of the lowest tariffs in the country, UPERC observed that NPCL could procure solar power through the SECI projects. The regulatory agency has also said that that NPCL will not be allowed to develop its own projects unless it can guarantee that the solar power rates will be lower than the rates quoted in SECI auctions.

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