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ISLAMABAD: K-Electric (KE) has reportedly linked establishment of infrastructure of power evacuation from category–III wind projects with approval of investment plan from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), well informed sources told Business Recorder.

KE’s Chief Strategy Officer Shahab Qader Khan in a letter to Director Wind/ Solar/ Thermal PPIB, stated that the power utility company is actively pursuing the integration of renewable generation into its network, showcasing its commitment to leveraging renewable energy sources and reducing dependence on imported fuels.

According to him, KE has already expressed its interest in acquiring power from CAT-3 projects. But as already noted KE does not have transmission infrastructure in the vicinity of CAT-III wind project sites at Jhimpir region. However, due to the dispersed location of these projects, determining transmission arrangements before the conclusion of bidding process is not possible.

Nepra renews distribution and supplier licence to KE

Similarly, the transmission investment for power evacuation is not covered in KE’s current investment plan. Therefore, approval from Nepra will be required. Further, with addition of renewables, additional investment approval from Nepra will be required to cover the intermittency to ensure the generation load balance of the system.

The timeline for the Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the projects have to be aligned with the transmission arrangement and operational reserve availability. The letter noted that the K-Electric looks forward to the next steps and remains available for any further clarification required in this regard.

Recently, it was decided at a meeting of National Power Control Centre (NPCC), the system operator, to formulate wheeling mechanism for evacuation of power from category–III wind projects that a quantum of approx 250MW to 350MW from Cat-III wind projects can be evacuated through K-E system.

For evacuation of power directly from Cat-III projects through KE system, the power utility company will carry out a techno-economic analysis for which PPIB will share the coordinates of the land acquired by Cat-III wind projects with KE.

KE will share the system studies with NTDC enabling NTDC to confirm the quantum of power that can be transmitted through NTDC system to KE system specifically from Jhimpir to Dhabeji grid station.

Simultaneously, NTDC will formulate a wheeling mechanism, inclusive of performance obligations related to Non-Project Missed Volume (NPMV), for power evacuation from Category-III wind projects by K-Electric through the NTDC system (Jhimpir-II grid station).

Cat-III projects are those projects that do not require tariff/ generation licence from Nepra till the date of CCoE decisions of February 27, 2019 and which are to be processed through competitive bidding by erstwhile Alternative Energy Development Board based on IGCEP outputs and confirmation of Interconnection Ready Zones (IRZs) by NTDCL. IGCEP 2022 allows addition of 500-MW wind and 3,120-MW solar for the year 2025.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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