Nagaland’s energy potential attracts private investment

A view of the NEEPCO owned 75MW Doyang Hydro-electric plant in Nagaland’s Wokha district. (Representational image courtesy: neepco.co.in)
A view of the NEEPCO owned 75MW Doyang Hydro-electric plant in Nagaland’s Wokha district. (Representational image courtesy: neepco.co.in)
A view of the NEEPCO owned 75MW Doyang Hydro-electric plant in Nagaland’s Wokha district. (Representational image courtesy: neepco.co.in)
A view of the NEEPCO owned 75MW Doyang Hydro-electric plant in Nagaland’s Wokha district. (Representational image courtesy: neepco.co.in)

3 power plants proposed in Peren, Tuensang and Mokokchung

Imkong Walling
Dimapur | April 12

Nagaland has yet to see any major private sector investment. However, if official papers are to be believed, prospective private developers have made a move to tap the state’s energy generation potential. 

According to documents available at the Nagaland Electricity Regulatory Commission website, proposals to independently develop three power plants in the state have been submitted by three different private firms. 

The proposed projects include thermal, solar and hydro plants with a combined potential to generate 102MW, which is almost 2/3rd of the state’s existing peak demand of around 170-180MW. The proposed sites are located in Mokokchung, Peren and Tuensang. 

60MW Thermal 

The site proposed for the thermal plant is located in Tuli, Mokokchung with a generation capacity of 60MW split into two units fed by “coal and bamboo procured locally.” It was proposed sometime in 2018-19 with the developer (Fitzroy Energy and Minerals) projecting to complete the plant in two phases— unit-1 with a planned completion time of 24 months and 27 months for unit-2. 

The project developer submitted a petition to the NERC for “determination of generation tariff” for the proposed plant in January 2020. The “tariff order” for the proposed plant was issued by the NERC in February 2020. The energy charge/tariff (trading rate) was approved at Rs 4.7/unit (kWh). 

The Commission further directed the developer to submit fuel purchase agreement ensuring reliable fuel supply for the plant and loan agreements with financial institutions.

22.5MW Hydro

The 22.5MW Hakchang SHP has been proposed to be set up at the Yijung River at Hakchang, Tuensang. The proposal to set up the small hydro plant (SHP) on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode was submitted by Harit Dynamics Pvt Ltd to the state government in mid-2017. The petition for determining generation tariff was filed in November 2017.  

As per the proposal, the developer projected a 24-month completion period if it is undertaken. The approved capital cost was approved at Rs 9cr per MW as per 2017-18 rates for SHPs in the north-east region.  The generation tariff was conditionally approved at Rs 4.69/kWh up to the 10th year and at Rs 2.49/kWh from the 11th year onwards.

The developer was also directed to furnish loan agreements with financial institutions and other statutory financial paperwork. 

20MW Solar

The site proposed for the 20MW solar power plant is at Jalukie and would require a land area of 120 acres. The construction period projected by the prospective developer— Halo Energie Private Limited, Hyderabad, was 8 months “from commencement to completion” for “clean solar power.”

The tariff petition was filed in June 2020. The cost per MW was worked out at Rs 4.2cr and the generation/trading tariff was conditionally approved at Rs 4.2/kWh. 

As per the tariff order issued by the NERC in August 2020, the developer was directed to provide loan agreements with financial institutions and other requisite paperwork. 

In the DPR, the developer stated that the proposed location has good solar insolation and the project financially viable. Citing data, it said that the site’s average “horizontal solar radiation” was 4.57 kWh/m2/day.  The daily average global radiation in the north-eastern and hilly areas was tipped to be around 5 kWh/m2, it added.

Current status

The three projects are said to have made some bureaucratic headway. As per the latest information (RTI replies) from the Department of Power, Nagaland (DoPN), the three projects were proposed under Independent Power Producer mode and the initial clearance papers issued. 

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for the Hakchang SHP and the solar plant in Jalukie have been signed between the project developers and the state government. The PPA for the latter was signed on September 25, 2017. 

For the proposed thermal plant in Tuli, the RTI replies said that the DoPN has already issued NOC to the developer and “the process of signing PPA” was on.  

To recall, the Nagaland State Power Policy 2018 has envisioned developing gas/coal-based and other new and renewable sources of energy in the state given the rapid growth in demand for electricity.