16 May 2018
RE developers are worried that transmission facilities are not keeping pace with power generation even as 12,000 MW of solar projects under construction & another 7,000 MW of wind projects have been bid out since wind auctions began in February 2017. Developers expressed fear that completed projects might not be able to start functioning because all ‘bays’ at the nearest substations are already occupied & transmission lines already carrying their full capacity at a recent meeting of developers & officials across concerned govt. agencies in Delhi. The main reason is that so far there has been no coordination b/w MNR), PGCIL & CEA, all of whose representatives were present at the meeting. SECI, under MNRE, has been merrily holding auctions for both wind & solar projects without making sure that enough evacuation facilities are available. According to a developer, CEA & PGCIL representatives at the first meeting claimed they had not been told that so many auctions would be held, while SECI official maintained that getting connectivity was the developers’ problem, not the corporation’s. The problem is most acute in Gujarat where, according to one developer, over 2,000 MW of wind projects are being built, but substations can only accommodate 400 MW, industry insiders said. Solution lies in building more substations & transmission lines, but the process will take much longer than the time the currently under-construction projects take to get completed.