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ISLAMABAD: Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has decided to go for competitive bidding plan for category-III projects as per directions of Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE), official sources told Business Recorder.

The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by AEDB Chief Executive Officer a few days ago. The meeting was convened to discuss/finalise the Interconnection Ready Zones (IRZs) provided by NTDC for carrying out the competitive bidding of Category-III wind and solar projects.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had approved over a dozen renewable energy projects but the Power Division did not include them in its new generation plan, which irritated the regulator.

The representatives of NTDC, Hesco, Mepco, Sepco, Gepco, Iesco and Qesco attended the meeting. However, Pesco was unable to attend the meeting. CEO AEDB stated that AEDB was required to carry out competitive bidding amongst wind & solar projects listed under Category-II as per the decisions of the CCoE and Council of Common Interests (CCI).

He further contended that CCoE in its recent meeting has also directed Ministry of Energy (Power Division) to finalise the competitive bidding plan for Category-III projects, at the earliest.

The meeting was further informed that the Request For Proposal (RFP) documents prepared by AEDB had already been approved by Nepra, however, the information pertaining to IRZs was required to be incorporated in the RFP documents prior to initiating the process of competitive bidding.

In this regard, NTDC has shared the information pertaining to IRZs with AEDB with the request to get the consent/confirmation from the relevant DISCO prior to finalization/incorporation of it in the RFP documents.

CEO AEDB apprised the participants that the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) 2021, recently approved by Nepra, identifies addition of 1000MW capacity each from wind and solar for year 2024.

Accordingly, the evacuation facilities would be required to be made available to solar and wind projects by 1st and 3rd quarters of 2024, respectively. In this regard, he requested the DISCOs to also indicate/identify the IRZs other than the ones shared by NTDC enabling AEDB/GoP to procure the capacity addition for year 2024.

Detailed discussion was held in the matter and following decisions were made: (i) NTDC will provide uniform distance from the IRZs for evacuation of power from the Category-II projects; (ii) NTDC will convey the IRZs where confirmation of DISCOs is not required; (iii) NTDC will identify/provide the information of the IRZs where projects could be connected at 220kV line; (iv) NTDC will provide the coordinates of the IRZs (for both grid stations & transmission lines) for incorporation in the RFP documents; (v) NTDC will share the VRE Locational Study (PSS/E system data files) with all the relevant DISCOs for their review and confirmation of IRZs identified by NTDC; (vi) DISCOs will provide consent/confirmation of the IRZs identified by NTDC; and (vii) DISCOs will also indicate/identify the IRZs other than the ones identified by NTDC and these must include all such IRZs against which the consent/approval of grid studies have already been issued to Category-III projects by DISCOs.

It was also decided that the information will be provided as early as possible to finalise the competitive bidding plan for Category-III projects, as per the directions of the CCOE.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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