Maharashtra Retenders 1.35 GW of Solar Projects, Ups Tariff Cap to ₹3.30_kWh

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has reissued a tender for 1,350 MW of solar projects to be developed across 30 districts.

The ceiling tariff has been raised to ₹3.30 (~$0.04)/kWh, up from ₹3.15 ($0.044) /kWh previously. The last day for the submission of bids is January 29, 2020.

Originally floated in September 2019, these tenders were put on hold because of the 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections in October as developers wanted to wait for the election results to gauge the policy commitment of the winning party before participating in the tenders.

The tender document states that projects of 50 MW capacity would be developed in 24 districts or circles. Projects of 25 MW capacity will be installed across six districts. Interested bidders are expected to pay an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ₹100,000/MW (~$1,401).

MSEDCL 1350 MW Solar Tenders - List of 30 Circles_District Wise Tender

The scope of the project work states that successful bidders must set up solar projects, including the transmission and distribution network, up to the delivery point at their own cost. It also includes acquiring necessary approvals, permits, and clearances.

The tender adds that the selection of projects would be technology agnostic within PV technology. This implies that projects would be selected regardless of the technology used in the solar modules and irrespective of whether they come with trackers or not.

MSEDCL said it would enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with selected bidders for 25 years from the commercial operation date (COD) of the projects. Once selected, bidders must pay a performance bank guarantee (PBG) of ₹500,000 (~$7,008)/MW within 30 days from the date of issue of the letter of approval (LOA).

To be eligible to bid, applicants must have had a net worth of at least ₹55 million (~$770,903)/MW per quoted capacity and a minimum annual turnover of ₹25 million (~$350,410) in the last financial year, according to the tender documents.

Selected developers are expected to declare the capacity utilization factor (CUF) of their projects at the time of PPA, and it is not allowed to be less than 19% annually.

Recently, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) allowed MSEDCL to procure 50 MW of solar power projects at a tariff of ₹2.99 (~$0.04)/kWh discovered through competitive bidding under the ‘Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vaahini Yojana.’

In June 2019, Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) retendered 750 MW of projects to cater to the agricultural (AG) feeder load of various substations across the state. This tender was initially issued in June 2018; however, due to poor response, the tender was delayed and re-issued. MAHAGENCO has reduced the upper tariff ceiling for this tender from ₹3.25 (~$0.0477)/kWh to ₹3.23 kWh.

Mercom had also reported that all the grid-connected solar PV projects developed under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana in Maharashtra would not be required to pay property tax for 30 years.