ISTS Charges Waiver for Mega Solar Manufacturing Tender Extended by Two Years

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has amended the Request for Selection (RfS) for setting up of 10 GW of ISTS-connected solar PV power projects linked with 3 GW (per year) solar manufacturing capacity.

According to the amendment, Solar Power Developers (SPDs) will be required to have cumulative annual solar manufacturing capacity of 3 GW, to be set up over a maximum period of 36 months from the execution of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Under this tender, the solar power projects commissioned up to March 31, 2024, will be eligible for ISTS charges waiver. In case the commissioning is delayed beyond March 21, 2024, the SPD will be liable to bear the applicable ISTS charges levied/ leviable on the buying entity.

In such a case, ISTS charges or the tariff reduction due to the delay in solar project commissioning (whichever is higher) , will be applicable on the SPD. Both ISTS charges and tariff reductions due to a delay will not be levied simultaneously. The ISTS charges waiver which was applicable up to March 31, 2022 has now been extended up to March 31, 2024.

SECI will enter into PPAs with bidders and the PPAs will be signed for four “packages.” The first package will comprise of solar PV projects having a cumulative capacity of 10 percent of the awarded Solar PV Project capacity, the second package will be of 30 percent of the awarded solar PV project capacity, the third package will be another 30 percent, and the remaining 30 percent capacity will be covered in the fourth package.

These packages will in-turn comprise a number of blocks, each having a minimum capacity of 50 MW. PPAs will be signed for each solar PV project, and there can be multiple PPAs based on these configurations.

A SECI official told Mercom,” The reason for the amendment is the same. We are incorporating all the feedbacks from the bidders. It is an effort from our side to make the document better.”

The successful bidders will have to submit the Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG). The initial validities of the PBGs amounting to ₹600 million (~$8.15 million) and ₹60 million (~$0.8 million) will be until 51 months from the effective date of the Package-I PPAs.

Whereas the initial validity of the PBGs amounting to ₹4 billion (~$54.34 million) will be until 72 months from the effective date of the Package-I PPAs. In case the successful bidders are not able to get the PBG amounting to ₹4 billion (~$54.34 million) with initial validity of 72 months, they can submit the PBG amounting of ₹400 billion (~$5.4 billion) with initial validity of sixty months.

Recently, SECI has extended the bid submission deadline for setting up of 10 GW of ISTS connected solar PV power projects linked with 3 GW (per annum) solar manufacturing capacity for the third time. The new bid submission deadline is November 12, 2018 and techno-commercial bid will open on November 13, 2018.

In May 2018, SECI had tendered 5 GW of manufacturing capacity linked to inter-state transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects for an aggregate capacity of 10 GW. This was later reduced to 3 GW where in developers would be provided guaranteed PPAs of 2,000 MW for a manufacturing capacity of 600 MW, therefore the total power projects awarded will remain at 10 GW.

SECI has also amended the RfS for 2,500 MW of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power projects (tranche-I). According to the amendment, the capacity of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power projects has been reduced to 1,200 MW from the earlier 2,500 MW.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer