7,000-MW solar power from SECI ensures free power to farmers: Balineni
Amid allegations from TDP leaders, AP Energy Minister clarified that there will be no burden on discoms with SECI
Hyderabad: As the leaders from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have raised several concerns over Andhra Pradesh government's 7,000-MW solar power procurement deal with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the State's Minister for Energy Balineni Srinivasa Reddy clarified that there will be no burden on discoms.
"Transco and discoms have added network worth Rs 3,762 crore in the last two years and added 20 new Transco sub-stations and 162 new discom sub-stations to cater to the addition in demand," he said. 7,000-MW solar power will be procured 2024 onwards in tranches to ensure nine-hour free power during day time to 18 lakh farmers for 25 years through a special discom.
The quantum of procurement will be decided by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) as per the Electricity Act. The price of Rs 2.49 /kWh is as per the tender discovered price of SECI, and tariff will be determined as per Electricity Act by the Regulatory Commission.
The minister said, "State government has to abide by the decision of ERC and the tendering has to be done by the SECI as per the Electricity Act. The facts and figures of high wind/ solar power purchase cost in the previous TDP government up to Rs 6.99 per unit for solar and Rs 4.84 per unit for wind is on record for everyone to see in the PPAs.
"In fact, in 2016, TDP government has procured 400 MW from same SECI at Rs 4.57 per unit (Galiveedu) and another 750 MW at Rs 2.77 per unit at Mylavaram. There will be absolutely no burden on existing Discoms for purchasing this power and all the cost will be borne by the government," he added.
This scheme comes with an Inter-State Transmission system (ISTS) waiver for 25 years compared to setting up the project in AP where central grid charges will have to be paid for 25 years. If the project is set up outside the State, the cost of power evacuation substations need not be borne by AP government.
Balineni says, "We have no reason to disbelieve the offer of a Government of India company. If the project is set up outside the state, the landed cost of power is cheaper compared to setting up the project inside the State. Central government is giving exemption of central grid charges for power from outside the State."
If the project is set up in Kurnool or Anantapur, it has to first flow to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka using central grid because the power flows from North to South in India. This will cost heavy money every year for AP. Parallel to it, power will flow from Orissa to Srikakulam down to Krishna and Guntur districts where the demand exists.
"All the land earmarked for our 10,000 MW project remains with us for use for other purposes. Curtailment matters are subject of real time operations done by the grid operator depending on the demand – generation gap at that point of time to ensure grid reliability of round the clock uninterrupted power supply and grid safety," the minister said.
He further alleged, "There are no thermal plants started by former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. In fact, the cost of Krishnapatnam increased from Rs 5.5 per MW to Rs 9.3 per MW during his tenure."