Gujarat govt buys solar power at Rs 15 per unit
At a time when solar power costs in the country have fallen to record lows, Gujarat government bought solar power at the cost of Rs 15 per unit from 38 different private producers during the last two years. According to the data shared in the Gujarat Assembly on Friday, the state government said it has bought a total of over 2600 million units of solar power from 61 different solar power developers in the state, during the calendar year 2015 and 2016. Among these private power producers, 38 of these firms were paid Rs 15 per unit, stated the state government in the data provided as part of a written reply to a question posed by Congress MLA from Sidhpur Balwantsinh Rajput during the Question Hour.
During this two-year period, the lowest per unit cost of Rs 9.13 was paid to Texas Infrastructure and Projects Private Limited. However, the company supplied only eight million units at this price during the two years. The highest quantum of solar power (about 115 million units) was bought from Adani Power Ltd at a cost of Rs 15 per unit. Tata Renewable Energy Ltd, Lorox Bio Energy Ltd and GMR Gujarat Solar Power Pvt Ltd were among the 38-odd firms from whom the state government bought solar power at Rs 15 per unit.
In comparison, the state government bought over 63,800 million units of conventional power from private power producers at an average rate of Rs 2.85 per unit during the year 2015 and 2016, the state government stated in a written reply provided to a separate question posed by Baldev Thakore, an MLA from Kalol.
“Gujarat was one of the first movers in the solar power sector and it had inked PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) more than five years ago. This is the reason why the state is buying such costly power. The PPAs inked recently elsewhere in the country is as low as Rs 4.5 per unit. These PPAs are for 25-year-period and I had written to the Ministry of Power to review all PPAs after every five years,” said K K Bajaj, a veteran energy consultant based in Ahmedabad.