KSERC Allows Cochin Port Authority To Re-Tender For 1.5MWp Floating Solar

Highlights :

  • The Commission allowed Grid Connection that will be provided by the KSEBL where excess solar power will be sold during the low demand period.
  • The Commission has allowed the 25 Year-PPA by the Port Authority.
KSERC Allows Cochin Port Authority To Re-Tender For 1.5MWp Floating Solar SJVNL's Himachal Floating Plant To Provide Solar Power At Rs 3.26/unit

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has allowed Cochin Port Authority to re-tender for the development of 1.5 MWp Grid Connected Floating Solar PV plant at Willingdon Island of the Port Authority under RESCO Model (BOOT) for 25 years. The court also allowed PPA for the 1.5 MWp Floating Solar and grid-connection of the solar plant.

Issue At Hand

Previously, KSERC had rejected the previous petition of Cochin Port Authority that sought approval for the purchase of 1.5 MWp Grid Connected Floating Solar PV from Suryam International Limited, Odisha. The court had reasoned that it was rejected due to non- compliance of the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 and other relevant Guidelines.

Also, according to the KSERC Regulations, 2022, Cochin Port Authority was also required to increase the renewable energy generation by 19% of its consumption by the end of 2022-23. The compulsion is also meant to support the Central Government’s bid to achieve 500GW of renewable energy by 2030.

The Authority was also granted permission for grid connectivity with KSEBL for exporting the excess generation during low demand as per the provisions of KSERC (Renewable Energy and Net Metering) Regulations, 2020.

The grid connection was objected to by respondent Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEBL) that Cochin Port Authority wanted in order to sell excess power. KSEBL was also against the installation of BESS as part of the project.

Court Observation and Decision

KSERC allowed Cochin Port Authority to call for the bids for the floating solar facility for 1.5MWp. In the process, KSERC while duly considering the advancement of solar panel technology and shade free areas, approved the CUF of 28% which is already achieved by the NTPC and can be easily achieved at the backwaters of Willingdon Island also.

The Commission also decided to approve the upper ceiling of ‘Capital Cost’ of the project at ₹6.255 crores for the 1.5 MWp floating solar projects of the petitioner at W Island.

KSERC said that Cochin Port Authority may fix the Earnest Money Deposit at 2% of the estimated cost in view of the bidding guidelines. This is to avoid fraudulent and financially incapable bidders from participating in the bid.

The performance bank guarantee to be provided by the successful bidder has been limited to 4% of the capital cost.

The Commission declined to grant permission for the creation of BESS. It said that the present cost of storage systems does not make it economically viable to integrate it with small renewable energy systems. But it permitted Cochin Port Authority to export the surplus energy during any time block to the KSEBL grid.

The Floating Solar PV Project

The Cochin Port Authority will be developing 1.5 MWp Grid Connected Floating Solar PV Projects at the waterbody near its Walkway Avenue between BOT Junction and Kannangatt Bridge at W.Island.

As of today, the total installed solar power capacity of Authority and its consumers presently stand at 250 kWP and 215 kWP respectively at W.Island. More and more consumers are also likely to apply for Grid Connected Solar Plants in W.Island. The total installed capacity of Solar Plant at the W.Island may exceed 2 MWp with the commissioning of 1.5 MWp Solar PV plant.

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