NTPC pulls out of Pavagada solar power project

The thermal power corporation says it can’t supply power at the agreed cost of ₹3.30 per unit

Published - January 25, 2018 12:00 am IST

National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) has withdrawn from the 2,000 MW solar park project, which is being set up at Pavagada in Tumakuru district. The government will now call a fresh tender as the NTPC informed the government that it would not be able to supply power at the agreed cost.

According to the agreement, the NTPC would purchase 600 MW power from six developers at ₹4.80 per unit and supply to the State electricity supply companies at a bundled tariff of ₹3.30 per unit.

Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar told presspersons here on Wednesday that the NTPC had to said it cannot sell at ₹3.30 per unit. “However, they have informed that they will not be able to do so.” He said tender will be called to generate 600 MW from the solar park and complete the project in the next six to eight months. “Already 600 MW is flowing. We are confident of getting bidders for supply of solar power within the KERC capped tariff of ₹3.56 per unit,” he added.

He said the government was confident of a good price from local generation of solar power, and capacity to generate 860 MW locally in 43 taluks is under way.

“Many have come forward to participate in the process. This local generation and supply of power will help in providing daytime power to villages.” He also said there is demand from some dry places for staggered power supply during the day to enable recharging of wells while in some places where irrigation facilities such as canals are in place, the demand was for continuous power supply during the day.

The Minister, who also held a meeting to sort out issues of power supply from sugar mills that co-generate power, said the government was hopeful of getting 500 MW from them. At present, 61 sugar factories have an installed capacity of 1,515 MW of co-generation while the government was able to purchase just about 30% of the installed capacity last year. “There are problems in this sector since sugar mills are unable to sell power at the KERC determined tariffs. Some are also selling in open market,” he added.

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