The Energy and Petrochemical Department, under the Gujarat government, has extended the deadline for receiving applications from empaneled agencies for setting up 600 MW of grid-connected residential rooftop solar projects.
The deadline has now been extended to February 28, 2020.
In July 2019, the Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL) had invited expressions of interest (EoI) from empaneled agencies for the design, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of residential rooftop solar PV projects.
The rates invited were for eleven system capacities of solar systems: 1kW, 2kW, 3 kW, 4 kW, 5 kW, 6 kW, > 6kW to 10 kW, 10 kW to 25 kW, 25 kW to 50 kW, 50 to 100 kW and >100 kW.
PGVCL in its tender document had made it clear that the modules and solar cells to be used for this program should be domestically manufactured as per the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) requirement.
To promote solar rooftops in the residential sector, the government of Gujarat has introduced the Surya Urja Rooftop Yojana. Under the program, a state subsidy of 40% is available for projects up to 3 kW and 20% for solar rooftop projects above 3 kW and up to 10 kW, installed and commissioned by private residential consumers.
Speaking to Mercom, a solar module manufacturer said, “of the 600 MW offer to bid, only bids for 225 MW had been received according to our information. It could be challenging to receive bids for the entire 600 MW because of various impractical clauses in the tender. One such clause reads, “Prior to dispatch; the materials may be inspected and tested by concerned DISCOM or its consultant, at the premises of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), where SPV (Solar Photovoltaic) panels, grid-tie inverters, module mounting structure, other components of the project are manufactured.” This means to say if a developer sources his modules from a manufacturer in Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata, he has to arrange for the DISCOM officials to inspect the factory in these cities? This is time-consuming, expensive and impractical. Also, after all the installations, the developers have to wait for the government subsidy which we all know can take a long time, until which the money invested is stranded.”
According to the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), Gujarat has ~417 MW of solar rooftop installed capacity as of December 2019.
Recently, the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) issued a draft notification regarding the second set of amendments for its net metering regulations for grid-connected rooftop solar systems.
In July last year, Gujarat announced its budget for the financial year 2019-20 and a recalibrated target of 30 GW by 2022 was announced. The state government renewed its focus on distributed generation solar projects in the state with the budget having a provision of ₹10 billion (~$144.9 million) for a new rooftop solar program.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.