MNRE may now hold RTC and Hybrid project auctions: Report

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) may  now hold renewable energy auctions only for round-the-clock and hybrid projects says a report.

This move said to reduce the problem of intermittent supply and making clean power more competitive against traditional thermal plants.

An MNRE official speaking to ET said “We may not do plain solar and plain wind tenders in the future. It is our plan to do only RTC and hybrid tenders. Like we have proved with the RTC tender, in the future it will be a business case for everyone (industry).”

Indian renewable energy developers have been supplying whatever power they generate right away to the grid, and since most have not invested in storage facility, the supply is intermittent. Continuous supply requires setting up of storage batteries, which may also increase the tariff.

Last week, MNRE auctioned a first-of-its-kind 400 MW RTC tender, where the levelised winning tariff emerged at Rs 3.60 per unit. Thermal power sector executives said this could be a serious threat to the dominance of coal-based power generation in the country.

The publication notes that the ministry also conducted an auction in January for a 1200 MW solar-wind (hybrid) storage project with assured peak power. Developers were asked to provide six hours of stored power. For six hours a day, they would have to provide power even when their plants were not generating it.

A close source on condition of anonymity said to publication “The levelised tariff came to 4.4. We were excited, it was a good beginning.”

“Since we are coming out with such bids again and again, we are expecting that a good market will be created for storage. This will reduce the tariff further,” said the person cited above.

Developers feel that to generate power round the clock might not be feasible because of fluctuating load patterns.