MAHAGENCO Seeks Landowners for Development of 600 MW of Solar Projects

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) has issued an expression of interest (EoI) inviting proposals from prospective landowners to acquire land to develop 600 MW of Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Project.

MAHAGENCO has invited proposals from private landowners, farmers, and cooperative societies in Maharashtra, who can sell land their land or lease it out on a long-term basis (27 years). MAHAGENCO will develop the projects through a consortium with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Landowners who are looking to participate in the EoI would have to meet the following criteria:

They should own land of a minimum size of 1,250 acres at a single location or within the periphery of 5 kilometers (km) area and approximately 5 km from any existing 220kV or 400kV substation.



Landowners can also offer 3,000 acres of land preferably at one location or within the periphery of 5 km area, if available at multiple locations.

MAHAGENCO is looking to develop at least 250 MW out of the planned 600 MW at a single location. Prospective landowners are expected to provide 7/12 extract of land and other documents mentioning land lease rates or prices for outright sale. MAHAGENCO has set a deadline of October 18, 2019, to receive proposals for the tender.

Land acquisition is one of the single biggest challenges for renewable developers across the country. Even with the headway made in the solar sector, large-scale project development is still not easy. After hearing from solar developers, Mercom found that land acquisition, transmission, and successfully acquiring approvals remain a challenge to commission large-scale projects on time.

Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued a memorandum modifying certain provisions of its solar park program for the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) units.

According to the MNRE, now, under Mode 5A any CPSU or special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the CPSU or government organizations that have land or engaged from various state governments or the central government can approach the ministry directly to set up a solar park. Earlier, it was mandatory that the CPSU must be the owner of the land. The MNRE has modified Mode 5B as well. Earlier, it was mandatory for the CPSU to own the land before approaching solar park developers for open bidding, but now, with the modification of Mode 5A, the CPSU need not be the owner of the land before approaching solar park developers.

Image credit: EDF Renewables