The Ministry of Power has nominated NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, PFC Consulting and REC Power Development and Consultancy as third-party bid process coordinators for its revised scheme on flexibility in generation and scheduling of thermal and hydro power stations through bundling with renewable energy (RE) and storage power.

The Ministry revised the scheme for flexibility in Generation and Scheduling of Thermal/Hydro Power Stations through bundling with RE and storage, 2022. Post revision, a Genco or its subsidiary will be allowed to establish a RE power plant through tariff based competitive bidding, provided the bids are called by a central government approved third party.

Besides, where a joint venture or a holding company or a subsidiary invites bids, the bid process coordinator shall be an entity independent of the holding company or its subsidiaries.

The guiding theme of India’s clean energy transition is bringing down import dependency, as well as to diversify the country’s energy resources. The ministry is now working on bundling RE power with thermal power in the same power purchase agreements (PPAs).

RE bundling

The intermittency in RE generation during a day poses a challenge in its integration with the grid. For instance, solar energy is available effectively for 6-8 hours, besides seasonal variations; wind power can also have significant intra-day and inter-seasonal as well as inter-annual variations.

In such cases, storage systems play a critical role in ensuring reliable supply of RE in the energy mix, especially as the share of renewables in the overall energy mix of the country grows. The Ministry in order to ensure smooth integration of RE with the grid has taken several measures including bundling and storage.

In April 2022, the Ministry floated a revised scheme for bundling of RE power with thermal and hydro power stations with the objective of bundling cheaper RE with costly thermal power, promote energy transition and enable beneficiary Discoms achieve renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) at least cost. Besides, the RE in the mix will count towards the RPO compliance of the Discom.

The revision allows replacing thermal and hydro power with standalone RE power or RE combined with battery energy storage systems within the existing contract capacity and without facing any additional financial burden.

India has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas and CO 2 emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030, and to have 500 gigawatt (GW) installed non-fossil fuel capacity.

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