BEIJING, April 12 (Reuters) - China has set the on-grid tariff for four new utility-level solar power stations in northwestern Ningxia region at 1.15 yuan ($0.169) per kilowatt hour (kWh), sharply lower than 4 yuan/kWh that Beijing approved for two pilot projects in 2008.
The rate is slightly higher than 1.09 yuan/kWh proposed and accepted by a consortium led by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp in the country’s first major open tender project in northwestern Gansu province last year.
Two of the four new stations are run by China Energy-saving and Investment Corp, one by China Huadian Corp and one by Ningxia Power Group, according to the document published on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website (www.ndrc.gov.cn). It did not specify the generating capacity of the stations.
“The difference between the rate and the benchmark on-grid power tariff for coal-fired power generators installed with desulphurising equipment will be financed by a power price surcharge,” the document said.
China’s average grid feed-in tariff for coal-fired power stations was 0.354 yuan a kWh in 2008.
The National Development and Reform Commission said in August last year that it was considering setting benchmark grid feed-in tariffs for utility-scale solar power projects. But it did not specify a timeframe for the announcement of the rates that analysts said would be essential for developers to factor the income into investment decisions and operational plans.
Tariffs for China’s existing, utility-scale solar power stations were set on a project-by-project basis. The government plans to introduce more open tenders, which industry officials said would be the base for determining benchmark grid feed-in solar power rates. ($1=6.822 Yuan)