Modification of the Karnataka solar policy – Increase in the amount of the tender guarantee for the group’s captive projects
The Karnataka State Solar Policy 2014-21 has been amended for the third time and addresses three important points – limiting the size of private solar farms, the performance guarantee for captive group projects and the project completion deadline for captive, captive power producers group and independent (IPP) for third parties sell.
The amended policy which will take effect immediately states that for the promotion of integrated solar parks, the capacity will now be limited to a maximum of 100 MW at one location compared to previous directives which stipulated that the minimum capacity for the private solar park park was 25 MW. However, it will be subject to the overall limit of 200 MW / taluk and will not include projects that are implemented on solar rooftops.
Although the fees remain the same for the tendering process, power bundles and roofing projects, the government has made some changes to the categories of captive, group captive and PPI for sale to third parties. .
The recent notification states that captive, group captive and IPP projects for sale to third parties will have a uniform facilitation fee of 25,000 (~ $ 352.96) / MW.
However, for captive and group captive projects, the amount of the bid security has been increased to 500,000 (~ $ 7,059) / MW from 300,000 (~ $ 4,235) / MW previously.
A net worth of 30% of the capital cost determined by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) from time to time is mandatory for captive and group captive, which was not necessary before.
In the previous Karnataka State Solar Policy Amendment 2014-21, it was regulated that for captive, group captive and IPP solar projects for sale to third parties, a transfer fee of 150,000 (~ $ 2,198) / MW and an annual fee extension will be billed from 100,000 (~ $ 1,465) / MW for the first year of the extension.
According to the previous policy for solar parks, the bidder is expected to have a net worth of 20 million yen (approximately $ 0.28 million), but this has now been changed. The amended policy states that the bidder must have a net worth of 30% of the cost mentioned in the detailed project report (DPR). A bid security amount of 500,000 (~ $ 7,059) / MW must be provided in accordance with the amendment; it was bad earlier.
Private solar farms have 18 months for completion, and solar projects in those solar parks have 12 months to be put into service from the date the solar farms are completed. Thus, the overall period allocated for commissioning solar projects in a private solar park is 30 months from the date of allocation of the solar park.
“If the developer does not commission the solar projects in a private solar farm within 30 months of the award date, the award will automatically be canceled. If the capacity of the solar park is partially developed within the overall period of 30 months from the date of allocation, the allocated capacity will be limited to the capacity brought into service and the remaining capacity will be considered canceled, ”the notification specifies.
Clarifying that the commissioning timeframe is 30 months instead of 18 months is good for the industry, while increasing the amount of bid security can make it onerous for PPIs. As most states have made it extremely difficult to obtain open access solar energy, the group captive has become a more attractive model.
In August 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energies (MNRE) also released new guidelines incorporating changes in the project schedules for the development of solar parks in the county.
According to central government estimates, Karnataka has become the best Indian state for rooftop solar projects. Last year, Mercom released a research report that gave Karnataka the top spot among all states pursuing the expansion of large-scale solar projects.
Image credit: Speed Solar
Anjana is Editor-in-Chief at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, she served as Editor-in-Chief, District Correspondent and Deputy Editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Prior to that, she worked for the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as Editor-in-Chief and Editor-in-Chief. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds an MA in Geography from the University of North Bengal and a Diploma in Mass Communication and Journalism from Guru Ghasidas University in Bhopal.