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KARACHI: Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmad Sheikh has said that the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has selected only one solar power project out of 25 in Sindh for competitive bidding.

In a letter to Federal Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir, Imtiaz Sheikh said the country cannot afford expensive electricity, while Sindh plans for cost effective, environment-friendly energy from renewable sources.

It will be injustice with Sindh province for ignoring its projects despite having huge potential and large numbers of valid LOIs holder in this competitive bidding, he said.

Sindh energy department has requested that complete quantum of 1000-MW each for wind & solar projects as approved in IGCEP of 2021 may be considered for bidding and all wind & solar projects of the government of Sindh may be included for fair competition

In its recently issued letter on January 16, 2023, AEDB has referred CCOE decision dated 4th April,2019 wherein category-III projects are allowed to process ahead subject to becoming successful in competitive bidding process to be undertaken by AEDB for each technology based on the quantum ascertained by the IGCEP; and confirmation of the interconnection Ready Zones (IRZs) by NTDCL.

The IGCEP 2021 approved by Nepra allocated a quantum of 1000-MW each for induction of wind and solar power capacity through competitive bidding by year 2024.

Sindh Solar Project: Minister says panels to be installed in all districts with WB’s support

It is pertinent to mention here that, category-III includes thirty one (31) wind projects with cumulative capacity of 2139-MW and sixty nine (69) solar PV projects of 4,193 MW.

The AEDB has picked and choose 22 wind and 27 solar power projects from the list without mentioning any criteria, the minister said. It is also surprising that only one solar project from 25 solar projects of the GoS has been chosen for competitive bidding.

Instead of taking a quantum of 1000-MW each for induction from which wind and solar as per approved IGCEP 2021, only 322-MW capacity from wind and 392-MW capacity from solar has been proposed for procurement in upcoming competitive bidding without mentioning any clear criteria.

It is injustice that only a meagre capacity is proposed to be procured from clean, cheap and affordable energy resources, which is one of the core initiatives of the current government to replace the expensive fuels based plants.

It was further stated that there is huge potential of Alternative and Renewable Energy resources in Sindh Province.

The GoS initiated 29 wind projects with cumulative capacity of 1,875-MW and 25 solar projects with cumulative capacity of 1,400-MW under category-III are waiting for competitive bidding for many years. It is important to mention here that as per Variable RE locational study conducted by World Bank, on the request and help of Ministry of Energy GoP (with AEDB & NTDC/CPPA), only minor upgradation or reinforcement and enhancement of transmission and distribution network in Sindh province will enable to evacuate on 6,765-MW till 2025 and further 10,035-MW till 2030 from wind and solar projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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