Published On : Thu, Aug 19th, 2021

Electricity bills in Maharashtra set to drop in near future

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd has invited bids for 500 megawatts solar projects with a target of reaching 17,360 MW in five years.

Residents in Maharashtra may get some relief in the whopping electricity bills as the state reportedly got a record a low rate of Rs 2.42 per unit for purchasing electricity from sources of renewable energy. The state is now exploring the possibility of switching to green energy.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd has invited bids for 500 megawatts solar projects with a target of reaching 17,360 MW in five years, The Times of India reported.

The state has over 2.6 crore residential, commercial and industrial consumers of electricity.

The MSEDCL on Wednesday announced that it recently floated tenders and got the lowest bid of Rs 2.42 per unit and a lower bid of Rs 2.62 per unit for tenders floated for procuring 500 MW wind-solar hybrid energy.

“This is lower than the average thermal energy purchase rate of Rs 4 per unit, lower than MSEDCL’s renewable energy purchase rate, which was Rs 2.90, in December 2019,” an official told the TOI.

The official added that the bidders have also expressed their will to provide a total 4,615 MW power to MSEDCL, which includes 3,165 MW solar and 1,450 MW wind-solar. “Of this, 1,000 MW could be procured in a year,” he said.

“The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission had set a target for the state to meet 25% of its demand from renewable sources in the next five years,” the report quoted Energy minister Nitin Raut.

The state had earlier announced that there will be no new thermal generation units in Maharashtra.

The MSEDCL is likely to approach the MERC soon for the final bids on solar power before signing agreements with power suppliers.

Earlier, the MSEDCL used to purchase renewable energy at a high cost of Rs 2.74 per unit in 2018 and Rs 2.90 in 2019, which led to the exorbitant electricity bills. “With the consent of the state government, we decided to conduct a competitive tender process in May this year,” MSEDCL managing director Vijay Singhal told the TOI.

“Solar power will be much cheaper than thermal power, benefiting industries and agriculture (for daytime generation for farmers) across the state. By 2030, there are plans to produce 30% of power from solar only,” Raut added.