Though the Government based on the recommendation of the Cabinet sub-committee has given its nod to the power purchase agreement (PPA) to be signed with host of solar power generating companies coming to Jharkhand, the JBVNL is yet to make up its mind on the rate agreed.
The Cabinet had given its nod to the PPA, which fixes the rate to purchase solar power generated through solar parks and larger power plants to be set up in Jharkhand at Rs 4.95 per unit. “Since the decision has been taken by the Government and has not been conveyed to us so far, I cannot comment on it right now on it,” said JBVNL Managing Director Rahul Purwar to an English daily agreeing to the higher rate to an extent.
Importantly, it was the State power distribution company that had flagged objections to the rate quoted by the qualified firms which varied between Rs 4.99 to Rs 5.20 per unit. Some big names in solar power such as ReNew Power, Suzlon Energy, OPG Power, Acme Group, Adani Enterprises Sun Edison etc had won bids for setting up parks and plants in order to harness around 684 MW of solar power.
Nevertheless the jury is out since the revised rate has come, especially after latest low recorded at Gujarat where per unit price clocked down up to Rs 2.65 and Rs 2.44 in Rajasthan discovered sometime ago. Rajya Sabha MP from BJP Mahesh Poddar has openly criticised the decision.
However, Energy Secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni defended the decision, which is being slammed at several quarters for being much expensive in present scenario. “The companies have qualified as per the bid document and auctioning. We would have to respect the agreements and contracts reached with companies otherwise who would be coming here investing in future? The rates in this case were arrived at sometime ago when the trend was on the higher side than what it is now,” said the Secretary, adding that the process of inking PPA with qualified firms would take place as soon as possible.
By Baishakhi Dutta