CERC Current Affairs - 2020

NTPC to invest Rs. 50,000 cr to add 10GW Solar Energy Capacity by 2022

State-owned power giant NTPC Ltd. is planning to add 10 GW (gigawatt) of solar energy generation capacity by 2022. The project would entail an investment of around Rs.50,000 crore which will be funded mainly by green bonds. NTPC’s plans to add 10GW solar energy capacity assumes significance in view of country’s ambitious target of having 175GW of clean energy by 2022.

Key Highlights

For borrowing option, the company would mainly rely on Green Bonds which are offered for pure clean energy projects. It wants to raise money through domestic as well as overseas green bonds.

Currently, NTPC has installed renewable energy capacity of 920 MW (Megawatt), which includes mainly solar energy. It has also formulated a long-term plan to become a 130GW company by 2032 with 30% non-fossil fuel or renewable energy capacity. NTPC will be completing tendering of 2,300 MW of solar energy capacity by end of this fiscal year (2019-2020), and thereafter it has planned to add 4GW each in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Way Forward

As NTPC intends to sell electricity to industrial and commercial consumers as well as at energy exchanges, it will be setting up solar energy projects without any long-term (for 25 years) power purchase agreements (PPA). Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC), the power sector regulator has already approved real-time power market, which is expected to kick in by 1 April 2020.

NTPC would also set up some of its solar energy projects under scheme where it gets viability gap funding (VGF) to keep the tariff below Rs.3/unit level.

About NTPC Limited

It was formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited. It is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), engaged in business of electricity generation and allied activities. It was founded in 1975 and was incorporated under Companies Act 1956.

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CERC appointed committee suggests overhaul in transmission planning

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) appointed committee has submitted its recommendations. It was headed by power system expert Mata Prasad.

The committee has suggested an overhaul in transmission planning to facilitate transfer of power on economic principles.

Key Recommendations

  • Transmission planning: It must be aligned to meet customer aspirations as opposed to existing system where transmission is associated with long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).
  • It can should be done basis of projected load of states and anticipated generation scenario based on economic principles of merit order operation.
  • Renewable energy sources transmission system: To be planned by central transmission utility (CTU) based on estimated capacity additions in perspective plan and renewable purchase obligations of each state.
  • Promote of power market: Transmission corridor allocation must be done suitably made. 5% of each flow gate may be reserved for day-ahead collective transactions.
  • This flow gate may be released for contingency market in case of non-utilisation of corridor by power exchanges. The percentage of reservation may be reviewed after 1 year of operation.
  • System studies: They must be carried out for various generation and load scenarios during peak and off-peak hours. It should also consider renewable capacity addition and scheduling of various generating stations that don’t have any PPAs.
  • Creation of a central repository of generators: It should be created in the Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA).In this case any generation project developer proposing to set up a new generation plant must register itself.
  • For accurate demand forecasting: Hand-holding of states by CEA and CTU for accurate demand forecasting. States must procure software for short-term, medium-term and long-term demand forecasting.

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