New Delhi: In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 2030 target of achieving 450 GW of renewable energy (RE) installation, state-run SJVN Ltd has decided to go aggressive in the solar power sector. The PSU, which is primarily involved in the development and operation of hydropower projects, has plans to add 10 GW of solar power capacity by 2030, said its Chairman & Managing Director NL Sharma during a recent conference call with investors.
"SJVN has decided to go aggressively in the solar sector also keeping in view the importance and given by the Government of India with the target of 175 Gigawatts by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. So SJVN keeping its eyes on the power business has decided to go aggressively in the solar field. We are competing almost in all the tenders which are being floated by the state governments or the SECI or any other authorities," Sharma told investors. The hydropower PSU plans to add 5 GW of solar power capacity by 2025.
Detailing the PSU's plans to expand into the solar power sector, the SJVN CMD said that the company has already bagged two projects on competitive bidding basis — one in Gujarat and another one in Uttar Pradesh. "And we are also competing in the CPAC scheme floated by Government of India and other state governments like Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar in all these states," said Sharma.
Commenting on the progress made in the 880 MW solar power park project in Kaza town of Lahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh, the SJVN CMD said that preliminary studies are being done. However, he added that that the absence of a power evacuation line for the park, which is located in one of the most far-flung and snow-bound areas of the state, is a "major problem." "The major problem in this park is of evacuation. It is located in a very far flung remote and snow bound areas of Himachal Pradesh. So, there is no evacuation line so far, but state government of Himachal Pradesh and Government of India are very keen," said Sharma.
"So, they have assigned the studies to the World Bank to work on the feasibility of the evacuation line. So, once the evacuation line issue is sorted out and it is finalised the development of the solar park will not be a big issue," said the SJVN CMD. He added that the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for the park is 10 percent.
On a question on the status of receivables from Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), which have been on the higher side, the SJVN CMD said that dues of around Rs 250 crore have been cleared by J&K state discoms, while more than Rs 400 crore is still unpaid. "Though J&K has also opted for that (liquidity infusion scheme for discoms) but there are some conditions which discoms and states have to fulfill. They have not been able to take full advantage of that… They took some advantage but not to the full extent though. We could receive around Rs 250 crore from J&K, but still more than Rs 400 crore are still lying unpaid. However, they are paying the current dues," said Sharma.
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