Haryana has issued an expression of interest for 279 MW of solar projects under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) program that aims to solarize India’s agricultural sector.
Under the Component A of KUSUM, solar power projects of capacities between 500 kW and 2 MW were to be developed by individual farmers, cooperatives, panchayats, farmer producer organizations (FPO) on barren lands falling within a 5 km radius of the 33/11 kV substations.
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN) and the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVN) has now invited substation-wise expression of interest (EoI) from developers for setting up decentralized grid-connected ground or stilt-mounted solar power projects of capacity between 500 kW and 2 MW capacities.
The projects are to be connected to the respective 33/11 kV substations in rural areas notified by the Haryana DISCOMs. The solar power projects will be installed within a 5 km radius of the substation and the solar power generated will be purchased by DISCOMs at a pre-fixed levelized tariff of ₹3.11 ($0.043)/kWh determined by the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC).
In case the total capacity offered by the bidders is more than the notified capacity for a particular sub-station, DISCOMs will follow the bidding route, and in such cases, the pre-fixed levelized tariff will be the ceiling tariff for bidding. The land requirement for the project is four acres/MW.
Interested bidders should submit an amount of ₹100,000 (~$1,406)/MW as the earnest money deposit (EMD). Successful bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹500,000 (~$7034)/MW within 30 days from the issuance of the Letter of Award (LoA) by DSICOMs. The last date for the submission of bids is February 10, 2020.
Interested farmers, farmer groups, cooperatives, panchayats, or farmer producer organizations should have land owned by them or a lease agreement to be eligible to bid.
Developers who are willing to set up the solar project on the leased land should be a company registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956, or a consortium having one member as the lead. A limited liability company or a partnership company or a registered proprietorship company can also bid for the project.
In case the farmer or farmer bodies opt to set up the solar power project through the developer, then they will be entitled to lease the land as per the mutually agreed terms and conditions.
There will be no financial eligibility criteria in place if the farmers or farmer bodies opt to develop the project with their investment. If a developer is setting up the solar power project on leased land, his net worth should not be less than ₹10 million (~$140,691)/MW of the applied capacity.
The power purchase agreement should be signed within two months from the date of issuance of the letter of award, and it will be valid for 25 years. The generator should commission the project within nine months.
Last year, the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) gave its approval to install grid-connected solar-powered tube well pumps in the state. The pilot project involved the installation of 468 solar pumps totaling a cumulative capacity of around 2.9 MW. These pumps are to be subsidized under the KUSUM program.
The PM KUSUM program was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to provide an additional source of income to the farmers by allowing them to utilize the uncultivated land for setting up solar PV projects.
In December 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued draft guidelines to develop decentralized solar power projects in the country. Among other points, the draft states that the DISCOM will provide connectivity at the substation and will have to ensure ‘must-run’ status to the solar projects by keeping the feeders ‘On’ during the sunshine hours of the day.