India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued guidelines for round-the-clock supply of electricity by bundling solar and thermal power.
This type of bundling of renewable energy with the thermal, is first-of-a-kind in the world wherein consistent power to the grid is ensured without worrying about grid stability issues.
Under the new MNRE guidelines, power project developers can sign power purchase agreements with the discoms for 24×7 supply containing at least 51% renewable power while the balance will come from coal-fired power plants. The developers can have battery storage to support renewable power projects.
The developers are required to ensure 85% availability both during the peak hours as well as annually.
The penalty, equivalent to a 25% shortfall in energy supplied calculated at the maximum composite tariff payable during the year, will be levied on the developer, in case 85% availability is not achieved.
MNRE will issue bids for a minimum capacity of 250 megawatts to fulfill economies of scale.
This is being applaud as a great move by the Indian government as this scheme will help revive several distressed and stranded thermal power assets.
This new scheme will ensure round the clock power supply without disturbing grid stability. While the ministry has so far allowed only coal-based power plants to submit bids, gas-based power plants have also requested the government to allow them to participate.
Reference- MNRE Website & Release, Mercom India, Economic Times