Ministry issues bidding guidelines for solar-wind hybrid projects

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued draft guidelines for tariff-based competitive bidding for the procurement of grid-connected solar-wind hybrid projects.

According to an MNRE circular dated on Friday, the guidelines apply to single-site projects with a generation capacity of at least 5 MW for facilities located in a single state. For such facilities, 25 MW is specified as the minimum capacity bid for developers. For inter-state projects, each facility must have a generation capacity of at least 50 MW, with that figure also constituting the minimum size for auction bids.

The draft rules also suggest at least 20% of the smallest generation technology type – solar or wind – will be required for a facility to be classed as an hybrid.

Long-term PPAs

Under the proposed MNRE terms, power purchase agreements (PPAs) would be of at least 25 years’ duration and the planned annual capacity utilization factor would have to be stated at PPA signing and be not less than 30%. The rules would permit the capacity utilization figure to be revised once, within the first three years of commercial operation.

Intermediaries would be permitted to sign PPAs with hybrid project companies and enter electricity sale agreements with grid operators under the guidelines and developers would have to demonstrate permission to use the land required for their project before the scheduled commissioning date. Bidders in hybrid auctions would also have to hold all necessary permits to be able to take part in procurement.

The guidelines make allowance for energy storage to be included in solar-wind hybrid projects.

The MNRE issued a Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy in May last year and amended the legislation in November.