Pakistan’s regulator to review two PV project proposals totaling 100 MW

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Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is now reviewing two large-scale PV project proposals with a combined capacity of 100 MW.

According to a document published by NEPRA, a first 50 MW project was submitted by local independent power producer Kulachi Solar Power Pvt Ltd. This project is planned to be located in Kulachi, D.I. Khan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and to sell power at a rate of 10.0174 PKR ($0.087)/kWh for the first 13 years of its life-cycle, while the tariff for the period spanning from the 14th year to the 25th year has been set at 4.3087 PKR ($0.0375)/kWh, with a resulting levelized tariff of 8.7761 PKR ($0.076)/kWh. Annual energy generation is expected to be of approximately 85.117 GWh, while project costs are estimated at around $48.7 million, of which 25% will be financed through equity, with the remaining percentage coming from debt.

In a separate document, NEPRA revealed that a second 50 MW solar project, to be located in the same town, is being planned by FAS Energy Pakistan (SMC-Pvt.), a unit of Saudi company FAS Holding. The proposed plant would provide power at a price of 9.8318 PKR ($0.0855)/kWh for the first 11 years of its life-cycle and of 6.4941 PKR ($0.0564)/kWh for the following two years, while the tariff for the period spanning from the 14th year to the 25th year has been set at 3.4130 PKR ($0.0296)/kWh, with a resulting levelized tariff of 8.2124 PKR ($0.0714)/kWh. Annual energy generation of the plant, which would rely on 153,846 multicrystalline modules provided by Chinese manufacturer JinkoSolar, is expected to be approximately 85.626 GWh, while total project costs are estimated at approximately $49.7 million. Both projects would sell power to the Central Power Purchasing Agency.

Several large-scale PV projects are currently under development or construction in the country. In June, PowerChina Guizhou Engineering Corp., a subsidiary of Beijing-based construction group PowerChina, signed an agreement to provide EPC services for a 100 MW solar project in southwestern Pakistan. In November, Germany’s Siemens agreed to supply electrical equipment to Turkey’s Zorlu Enerji, for a 100 MW solar project that the latter company is building in Bahawalpur, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

In a recent report, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) noted that the cost of renewable energy projects in Pakistan has come down significantly, although they are still generally higher than thermal energy. The report revealed that the solar sector is now taking off with 24 additional letters of intent issued by the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), amounting to a total installed capacity of 556.5 MW, at an advanced stage of completion.

In a another recent report, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said that Pakistan was on track to install slightly more than 1 GW of solar capacity in 2017, up roughly 46% from the preceding year.