The Ministry of Power has amended the competitive bidding guidelines for the procurement of power from grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, incorporating changes to further the pace of solar installations in the country.
This is the second time these guidelines have been amended. The guidelines were previously amended in June 2018.
- A minimum period of 22 days will be allowed between the issuance of request for selection (RfS) and the last date of bid submission.
- Under normal circumstances, the bidding process should be completed in a period of 110 days.
- For solar PV projects outside a solar park, the time-period for attaining the financial closure will be 12 months from the date of execution of the power purchase agreement (PPA).
- For solar PV projects inside a solar park, the time-period for attaining financial closure will be nine months from the date of execution of PPA.
- The timeframe of commissioning of solar PV projects outside solar park will be 18 months from date of PPA execution
- The timeframe of commissioning of solar PV projects inside solar park will be 15 months from the date of PPA execution.
- An extension for the financial closure can be considered by the procurer, on the request of the solar power generator after payment of a penalty as specified in the PPA. This extension will not have any impact on the scheduled commissioning date (SCD). Any penalty paid will be returned to the solar power generator without any interest on achievement of successful commissioning within the SCD.
The project commissioning timeframe for projects inside as well as outside solar parks has been reduced. Earlier, the deadline used to be 21 months for solar PV projects inside a solar park and 24 months for those outside it.
The ministry has also reduced the time required to attain financial closure for solar PV projects inside a solar park from 12 to seven months. Solar projects outside a solar park still have a 12-month timeframe to attain financial closure.
Through these amendments, the government is trying to expedite the entire process of solar project development, right from tendering and auctioning to commissioning.