Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulation Authority (NEPRA) has considered energy service company, Buksh Energy, eligible to receive a feed-in tariff for a 10MW proposed solar power plant.
The solar power plant to be built in Cholistan, will receive Pakistan's so-called 'upfront solar tariff.’
Upfront solar tariffs for 1-100MW solar power plants were announced by NEPRA 21 January 2014 and signed off by the country’s ministry of water and power.
The tariff applies to solar power plants of between 1MW and 100MW capacity and is set at a different rate in the north and south of the country.
NEPRA calculated operations and maintenance (O&M), insurance, debt and return on equity costs, and approved the tariff rate of PKR21.11 (US$0.20) for the first ten years and PKR8.75 (US$0.08) the remaining 15 years for the 10MW Cholistan plant – the so-called 'lower southern' tariff.
Buksh application for a generation licence, filed in February 2013, is still under review and if declined will render the tariff invalid. Buksh submitted a letter of application for the tariff, 1 April 2014.
Financial close of the 10MW project is scheduled for 31 March 2015 – after this date the project is not viable for the tariff.
The following construction period, after financial close, is expected to be eight months.
The plant will have an expected life span of 25 years.
Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) is projected to cost US$1.7 million per MW.
The tariff was awarded to Buksh as part of a recent call by government for energy project proposals from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for 50MW.
On its page on social media site, Facebook, Buksh said: “We are pleased to announce Buksh Energy has received the upfront tariff for 10MW Solar Power Plant in Cholistan approved by NEPRA in a recent call for proposal announced by the government of Pakistan for 50MW from the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).”
Buksh also said it would be able to generate 0.14% of Pakistan’s energy shortfall thanks to the provision of the tariff for the 10MW plant. Buksh also aims to account for 5% of Pakistan’s energy needs by 2020, using renewable energy.
Pakistan is currently suffering from 6GW in energy shortfall, with demand rising by 8% annually.
However Punjab (where the plant will be located) receives some of the highest solar radiation in the world, 5-7 kWh per square meter, with 3,000 hours of sunshine available annually.
Also this week the Chinese PV manufacturer and system integrator, TBEA SunOasis, won a bid to be part of Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam solar park.