The guidelines have been issued under the provisions of Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
New Delhi: The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on Saturday said its guidelines for tariff based bidding for procuring solar power would reduce risk, enhance transparency and increase affordability.
The MNRE had issued the new guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding process on August 3.
The guidelines have been issued under the provisions of Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003 for long term procurement from grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects of 5 MW and above, through competitive bidding.
"New Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process to reduce risk, enhance transparency and increase affordability of Solar Power," the ministry said in a statement.
Besides, it said, the move will help protect consumer interests through affordable power. It will also provide standardisation and uniformity in processes and a risk-sharing framework between various stakeholders involved in the solar PV power procurement, it said.
This will also help reduce off-taker risk and encourage investments, enhance bankability of the Projects and improve profitability for the investors, it added.
Some of the salient features of the the new norms include generation compensation for offtake constraints for reducing offtake risks The 'must-run' status for solar projects has been stressed upon.
Besides, to ensure lower tariffs, minimum PPA (power purchase agreement) tenure has been kept at 25 years. Moreover unilateral termination or amendment of PPA is not allowed. The guidelines also streamline the provision for project preparedness to expedite and facilitate the setting up of projects.
Further, they provide for termination compensation to increase bankability of projects by securing the investment by the generator and the lenders against any arbitrary termination of PPA.
Under the norms, the risk of generator’s revenue getting blocked due to delayed payment/non-payment by the procurers has been addressed through provision of Payment Security Mechanism through instruments like Letter of Credit (LC), Payment Security Fund and State Guarantee.
It also provides for change in law provision to provide clarity and certainty to generators, procurers, and investors/lenders.
The penalties have been rationalised so as to reduce the overall cost to the generator, while at the same time, ensuring compliance with the Commissioning Schedule/Scheme Guidelines. The norms provide that generators are free to repower their plants.