NEA to revise power purchase rates for solar projects

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    Kathmandu, August 22

    Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) – the sole power off-taker of the country – is planning to revise power purchase rates for solar projects.

    Stating that the solar energy is getting cheaper with the price of solar equipment and technology dropping across the world, Kul Man Ghising, managing director at NEA, said, “Hence, the NEA is gearing up to revise the power purchase rates for new solar projects.”

    The ‘Guidelines of Grid Connected Solar Energy Development’, which was enforced by Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, has fixed power purchase rate for solar energy at Rs 7.30 per unit for three years of signing the pact and the rate can thereafter be raised by three per cent per annum up to eight times over agreement period of 30 years.

    Speaking at a programme titled ‘Solar Net Metering: Current State of Policy and Guideline’ organised by Energy Development Council (EDC) here today, Ghising said that solar net metering would help each interested household to generate revenue and contribute to economic growth of the country.

    Assuring that the net metering was not a plan limited to paper, Ghising said the government is giving due priority to realising it. Currently NEA has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with a bunch of solar project developers that are generating a total of 18 megawatts of power, while there are a number of projects in the pipeline that will generate altogether 20 megawatts of power.

    NEA has already issued licence to generate 500 megawatts of solar power, as per Ghising. “We’re aiming for an energy mix of 85:15, in which 85 per cent of the energy is generated through hydropower and 15 per cent through solar projects.”

    As per one study carried out by EDC, if solar panels were installed on 20 per cent of rooftops in the Kathmandu Valley, they would generate a total of 600 megawatts of solar energy.

    According to Aashis Chalise, executive member of EDC, “Net metering is not a big challenge in the context of Nepal. All that is required is the government’s seriousness in implementing the solar policy.”

    Source: The Himalayan Times