Karnataka Floats Bids For Solarization of Agricultural Feeders Under KUSUM

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Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL) has invited bids for the installation and commissioning of grid-connected distributed solar power systems for the solarization of agricultural feeders covering 75,000 individual pump sets under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program.

The projects will be developed in areas under the Hubli Electricity Supply Company and the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation jurisdiction.

The successful bidder will also have to develop the associated 11 kV line to connect the projects with the concerned substations and undertake the project’s operation and maintenance (O&M) for 25 years.

The project will be developed under the renewable energy service company (RESCO) model.

Under Component C of the KUSUM program, the government had set a target to solarize 1.5 million grid-connected agriculture pumps of individual capacity up to 7.5 HP by 2022.

The last date to submit the bids is February 7, 2023. Bids will be opened on February 9.

Bidders will have to deposit ₹100,000 (~$1,216)/MW as an earnest money deposit. Also, the successful bidder must furnish an amount equivalent to ₹100,000 (~$1,216)/MW as a performance bank guarantee.

The scheduled commercial operation date of the project must be achieved within nine months from the date of the signing of the power purchase agreement (PPA).

The solar power generators will carry out any evacuation assessment study concerning the connectivity of the project to the respective grid substation.

KREDL has stated that it will be mandatory to use indigenously manufactured solar modules as per the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) published by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Bidders should propose commercially established technology only and should have at least one project of not less than 1 MW based on the technology being successfully operational for at least one year.

Bidders should have a positive minimum net worth of ₹10.5 million (~$127,629)/MW as of the last date of the previous financial year.

As per the tender documents, during the first ten years, the minimum generation must not be less than 15% of the declared capacity utilization factor (CUF) of the power project, while after ten years, the minimum generation should not be less than 20% of the declared CUF.

Further, the solar power generator should obtain power evacuation approval from competitive authorities after the signing of the PPA.

Any bidder from a country that shares land with India will be eligible to bid in this tender only if the bidder is registered with the competent authority.

Earlier, MNRE had released amendments to the guidelines for the implementation of Component C of the PM-KUSUM program. The ministry has made changes relating to the implementation arrangement and tendering process of the guidelines, allowing system integrators to take part in the bidding process.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker, KREDL has so far floated tenders for 3.19 GW of solar power projects.