Aug 21, 2018-The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is diversifying its power sources by increasing the share of solar power in its energy mix. In the last two weeks, the state-owned power utility signed power purchase agreements (PPA) with two developers to buy 19 MW of solar electricity. The energy is generated by five plants located in different parts of the country.
The NEA sealed a deal with Api Power Company to purchase solar power generated by its four stations with a total installed capacity of 14 MW. The company operates an 8 MW plant in Parwanipur, Parsa, a 4 MW plant in Chandranighapur, Rautahat, a 1 MW plant in Dhalkebar, Dhanusha and a 1 MW plant in Simara, Bara. As per the PPA, the NEA will purchase the solar electricity at Rs7.30 per unit for 25 years.
Likewise, the NEA signed a PPA with Solar Farm to buy solar power generated by its 5 MW solar station to be installed in Shuklagandaki Municipality, Tanahu at the same price. As per the agreement signed with the NEA, the five solar plants have to start supplying electricity to its nearest substations with 10 months.
More than half a dozen developers have filled applications at the NEA to sign PPAs for around 20 solar plants. The NEA said it would fast track the applications and start signing agreements soon.
“We are planning to complete signing PPAs with the developers within a couple of months,” said NEA spokesperson Prabal Adhikari. The NEA took steps to increase the share of solar power in its energy mix
after the Energy Ministry issued the Guidelines for Development of Alternative Electricity Connected to Grid 2018 prioritising the development of solar energy. The power purchase rate of Rs7.30 per unit was fixed as per the guidelines published on February 8.
Besides purchasing solar power from private developers, the NEA is building its own 25 MW plant in Nuwakot district. According to the utility, the solar station being constructed with World Bank funding will start generating electricity within six months.
The NEA said it planned to have around 150 MW of solar energy in its total supply system within a
couple of years. “In a bid to maintain system stability, we are planning to have an energy mix where solar will account for 10 to 15 percent of electricity generation,” said Adhikari.
Source : The kathmandu post