On June 9, 2023, the Ministry of Power notified guidelines for long-term procurement of ‘firm and dispatchable power’ from renewable energy power projects with energy storage through tariff-based competitive bidding. Here, renewable energy power refers to any power from solar power generating systems, wind power generating systems, wind-solar hybrid systems or any other renewable energy resource-based generating system with an energy storage system.
Such renewable energy is provided by the procurer. As per the guidelines, a procurer is defined as an entity with distribution licenses or any authorized representative or an intermediary procurer. These guidelines have been issued under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003, and must be followed by the procurer to be eligible under the said provision.
The guidelines, as a whole, aim to promote healthy competition through the competitive bidding process and ensure that a transparent and standardized procurement framework is in place. The bids under the guidelines are to be invited in terms of power capacity. The minimum bid quantum starts at 50 MW. The bidding process itself will be a two-part process with a technical evaluation round followed by a financial evaluation round. The guidelines also provide for a timetable for the bidding process. The process concludes with the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and any bidder hoping to gain the contract must adhere to the prescribed shareholding requirements.
Additionally, the guidelines require generators to supply renewable power as per the demand profile. The Ministry as well as the Appropriate Commission under it hold final authority in cases of deviation from or non-compliance with the guidelines.