Bihar Reissues Tender to Develop 250 MW of Solar Projects

The Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) has reissued the tender for the procurement of 250 MW of power from grid-connected solar power projects.

Interested bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹400,000 (~$5,447)/MW as the earnest money deposit (EMD). The successful bidder will have to submit an amount of ₹1 million (~$13,617)/MW of the contracted capacity as the performance bank guarantee.

The last date to submit the bids is January 22, 2021. The pre-bid meeting will take place on January 12, 2021.

The tender document says each solar project’s installation size should be a minimum of 25 MW capacity and a maximum of 250 MW capacity in multiples of 25 MW. The responsibility of grid-connectivity with the transmission system owned by the distribution company (DISCOM) will lie with the project developer.


The solar power generator should achieve financial closure within 12 months from the date of the execution of the power purchase agreement (PPA). The commissioning of the project at one location should occur within 18 months from the date of the signing of the PPA.

To participate in the bidding process, the bidder can bid individually or as a part of a consortium, with one member acting as the lead member.

Regarding the financial criteria, the bidder’s net worth should be equal to or greater than ₹7 million (~$95,324)/MW of the quoted capacity in the last three financial years. The bidder’s minimum annual turnover should be at least ₹3 million (~$40,853)/MW in the previous financial year. The bidder should also have a line of credit for a minimum amount of ₹1.25 million (~$17,022)/MW of the quoted capacity to meet the project’s working capital requirement.

The successful bidder should submit a lease agreement to establish the right to use 100% of the land in the name of the solar power generator for the complete term of the PPA before the scheduled commissioning date. In case of non-availability of land with the bidder at the time of bidding, an undertaking that documentary evidence of land availability must be submitted within 12  months of signing the PPA.

The declared annual capacity utilization factor (CUF) should not be less than 19%. The successful bidder should maintain generation to achieve annual CUF within +10% and -15% of the declared value till the end of 10 years from the commissioning date and within +10% and -20% of the declared value till the end of 25 years.

Background

The tender was initially floated in June 2019. In the instant bidding process, a tariff of ₹3.45 ($0.05)/kWh was offered. But this tariff was not approved by the state regulator stating it to be on the higher side and recommended that the tariff be renegotiated in the range of ₹3.05 ($0.043)/kWh to ₹3.15 ($0.044)/kWh considering that the projects are developed in Bihar.

The Commission also suggested that in case the bidders and BREDA cannot arrive at a renegotiated tariff in the suggested range, then the instant bid process be canceled, and BREDA retender the projects.

In December 2019, BREDA reissued the same tender with a revised ceiling tariff of ₹3.15 (~$0.042)/kWh. Again in May this year, BREDA reissued the tender removing the tariff ceiling of ₹3.15 (~$0.042)/kWh and extending the bid submission deadline. Since the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in March had said that upper ceiling tariffs or tariff caps will no longer be prescribed in future bids.

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 111 MW of large-scale solar projects in operation, as of September 2020.