Bihar signs MoU with Centre for purchase of wind energy
PATNA: Two state-owned power distribution (वितरण) companies - North Bihar Power Distribution Company and South Bihar Power Distribution Company - signed an MoU with Power Trading Corporation (PTC), an undertaking of ministry of power, in New Delhi on Wednesday for purchase of 200MW wind energy from a proposed wind energy production unit to be set up by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) either in Gujarat or Tamil Nadu. The MoU was signed in the presence of Union minister of state (independent charge) for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines Piyush Goyal and Bihar energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav at the two-day ministers' conference of power, renewable energy and mines of states/UTs. Senior officials in the state energy department said the MoU was signed as per renewable purchase obligation(कर्तव्य) (RPO) of different states and UTs to promote renewable energy sector across the country. "Bihar had given consent (सहमति) to MNRE for procurement of 200MW wind power from this project at a uniform tariff of Rs 3.53/kwh. This is the cheapest tariff available across the country at present for wind power. The project is expected to be commissioned within 12 months," said R Lakshmanan, managing director of South Bihar Power Distribution Company and director of Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency.
Energy department officials said the non-solar renewable purchase obligations of Bihar are 5%, 5.5% and 6% of the total energy consumed in the fiscals 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. Apart from the MoU for purchase of renewable energy, the power distribution companies of Bihar were also appreciated (की सराहना की) for introducing power tariff reforms in the state from this fiscal (2017-18). Energy department principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit gave a presentation on salient features of the new tariff structure imposed in Bihar from April 1 and explained other aspects of the tariff reforms. Pratyaya informed the participating states and UTs that it was for the first time that the two discoms filed tariff petition with state electricity regulatory commission on zero subsidy basis, which ensures transparency and enables effect monitoring of reduction of AT&C losses.
Energy department officials claimed that Union power minister Piyush Goyal appreciated the innovative tariff reforms undertaken by Bihar discoms and urged all participating states to adopt similar reforms. He also termed the reforms as a way ahead for the financially distressed power utilities of India.