BESCOM Seeks Landowners and EPC Players for 11 MW of Solar Projects under KUSUM Program

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) has invited expression of interest (EoI) from landowners for setting up 11 MW of ground-mounted solar power projects. The projects are to be developed under Component-A of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program.

The state DISCOM has also invited bids for the empanelment of engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contractors, system integrators, and developers to participate with the landowners to develop solar projects under the ‘Soura Bhoomi Yojane.’

For landowners

Under this tender, individual farmers, groups of farmers, cooperative societies, panchayats, farmer producer organizations, and water user associations can collaborate with EPC contractors, system integrators, and developers to set up 500 kW or 1 MW of solar projects. The projects will be developed on barren lands located within a five km radius of the substations notified by BESCOM.

Interested landowners can register for the program from September 21, 2020, to October 07, 2020.

Under the ‘Sour Bhoomi Yojane,’ the landowners can invest in solar projects by arranging own funds, collaborate with empaneled EPC contractors, or system integrators for setting up grid-connected solar power projects on a turnkey basis. The contract will also include the operation and maintenance of the projects during the PPA tenure of 25 years.

As per the tender document, landowners unable to arrange their own funds for setting up solar power projects can lease their land parcels to developers, who will set up, own, operate and maintain the project. The landowner can express interest in any one land parcel at a single location.

For landowners, the minimum land requirement for the 500 kW project will be two acres, and for 1 MW project, it will be four acres.

For Solar EPC Contractors, System Integrators, and Developers

For the empanelment tender, the bidder should be a recognized solar EPC contractor or solar system integrator, solar module manufacturer, or both. The bidder should have successfully set up a ground-mounted solar power project on a turnkey basis. He should have successfully set up a project of a minimum capacity of 1 MW or one project of at least 500kW at a single location in the last five years.

Regarding the financial criteria, the annual turnover of the bidder should not be less than ₹20 million (~$271,400) in any of the preceding three financial years. The net worth of the bidder should not be less than 100% of the paid-up share capital on the last day of the previous financial year. The liquid assets of the bidder should not be less than ₹10 million (~$135,700) as of July 31, 2020, or at a later date.

The solar project generator will have to submit an amount of ₹500,000 (~$6,785)/MW as the performance bank guarantee (PBG).

According to the tender document, the empanelled EPC contractors or system integrators should not collaborate with more than one landowner registered under the same substation at the time of reverse bidding.

The solar project should be commissioned within nine months from the date of the issuance of the letter of award. The solar project of capacity up to 1 MW will be connected to the 11 kV side of the substation, and the developer will be responsible for laying a dedicated 11 kV line from the project to the substation.

During the PPA term, if the generator fails to generate minimum energy corresponding to the capacity utilization factor of 19% or as prescribed by BESCOM, it would make the generator liable to pay the compensation as provided in the PPA to the BESCOM.

Last month, BESCOM issued amendments to the expression of interest issued to empanel agencies to design, supply, install, and commission 30 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects. The projects will be developed on the rooftops of residential buildings, group housing societies, and residential welfare associations under the net metering mechanism. The projects will be developed under the ‘Soura Gruha Yojana.’

The central government launched the guidelines for the implementation of the PM-KUSUM program in July last year with the following components:

Component A: Set up 10 GW of decentralized ground-mounted grid-connected solar projects of individual project size of up to 2 MW

Component B: Install 1.75 million standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps of individual capacity up to 7.5 HP

Component C: Solarize 1 million grid-connected agriculture pumps of individual capacity up to 7.5 HP