The Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) has reissued its first large-scale solar tender with a revised ceiling tariff.
In June 2019, Bihar had invited bids for setting up 250 MW of grid-connected ground-mounted solar projects in the state. This tender has now been reissued for the same capacity.
Last month, the state commission had dismissed a petition regarding this tender without granting further time for the tariff negotiation.
In September 2019, the commission had rejected another petition that requested the adoption of a tariff of ₹3.45 (~$0.049)/kWh and the regulatory approval for the procurement of 250 MW of solar power.
This being the first solar tender for Bihar, the petitioner also requested the commission to look at factors like the requirement for RPO fulfillment, the paucity of land parcels, and limited solar potential of the state.
Bihar’s electricity distribution companies are operating under stress to meet their renewable purchase obligation (RPO). In April 2019, DISCOMs in the state were penalized for not being able to meet RPO targets. Keeping this in mind, the petitioner requested that the threshold limit set by the commission be revised to ₹3.25 (~$0.045)/kWh so that they can renegotiate with the successful bidder, or they should be allowed to go for a fresh tender keeping ₹3.25 (~$0.045)/kWh as the ceiling tariff.
However, the petition stood rejected by the state commission, which stated that the examples of other states like Uttar Pradesh and Assam, as described in the petition, cannot be taken as proper examples for reviewing and appraising the tariff set for solar projects in Bihar.
Now, the reissued tender states that a ceiling tariff of ₹3.15 (~$0.04)/kWh would apply for the projects.
Speaking to Mercom, a senior official from BREDA said, “This tender has been reissued with the ceiling price suggested by the Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC).”
The last date for the submission of bids is January 2, 2020, while the technical bid opening has been scheduled for January 3, 2020.
The prospective bidders need to pay ₹400,000 (~$5,652)/MW as the earnest money deposit (EMD) and an amount of ₹1 million (~$14,097) as the performance bank guarantee (PBG).
According to BREDA, the net worth of the bidder should be equal to or greater than the value calculated at the rate of ₹7 million (~$98,679)/MW.
As per the tender document, the solar power generator will have to attain the financial closure in terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA) within 12 months from the date of execution of the PPA.
The state of Bihar is way behind when it comes to solar development. According to Mercom India’s Solar Project Tracker, the state currently has only 110 MW of large-scale solar projects in operation.
Image credit: Univergy
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.