a 40 MW solar
Pakistan covers 796,095 square kilometers of land between latitudes 24° and 36°north and longitudes 61° and 76° east; the country has immense solar resources, suitable for both Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) applications. On an average everyday Pakistan receives an average of 19 Mega Joules per square meter (m2) of solar energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) (USA) under the USAID assistance program in 2007 carried out the solar resource study of Pakistan and developed solar map showing the solar potential available in the country (http://www.nrel.gov/international/ra_pakistan.html). According to NREL, average solar irradiation in Pakistan is 5-7 kWh/m2/day that can produce over a million MW of solar PV electricity provided adequate space for installation.
Solar Feed in Tariff
Keeping in view the urgent need to shift Pakistan’s energy mix towards cheaper renewable sources of electricity, NEPRA has determined solar upfront tariff for three ranges i.e. >1MW ≤ 20MW, >20MW ≤ 50MW, and >50MW ≤ 100MW which is intended to provide flexibility to potential investors. Furthermore, given the differences in solar irradiance between the northern and southern parts of the country NEPRA has determined two sets of tariffs and different required plant capacity factors for projects being developed in the northern and southern regions of the country. The Southern region comprises of Sindh Province, Baluchistan Province and southern Punjab. All other parts of the country are included in the Northern region. The Upfront Tariff (along with permitted indexations and escalations) will be applicable throughout the tariff control period of 25 years from achievement of commercial operations. The concession shall be backed by sovereign guarantees that are given by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) under the Concession Agreements namely Energy Purchase and Implementation Agreements. Furthermore, the tariff provides flexibility to Sponsors and financiers, in terms of capital structure and costs of financing.
SWPCL Solar Project
SWPCL is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by the Sponsors, (Sapphire Textile Mills Limited and Bank Alfalah) to develop and operate the 52.8 MW wind farm as an Independent Power Producer in Jhimpir. SWPCL has already acquired 1,372 acres of land on lease from AEDB in Jhimpir, Sindh, Pakistan for setting up the 52.8 MW wind farm. SWPCL plans to develop, own and operate a solar power plant in a hybrid mode on the land acquired for the wind farm. Based on the results of a constraints analysis within site it was established that there was sufficient space to install a PV plant with a DC capacity of approximately 40 MWp. to be operated in a hybrid mode. The hybrid solar-wind combination will optimize the grid’s system utilization and increase its capacity utilization from around 31% (in the wind alone scenario) to about 48%.