Solar: a Game Changer for India’s Agricultural Sector

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) has issued two tenders (50 MW each) for 100 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed in the western region of the state.

The projects will be developed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis and will cater to the agricultural (AG) feeder load of various substations in the western region of Maharashtra. 50 MW of solar PV will be developed at various places in Western Region (Ph-II-A) of Maharashtra, while the other 50 MW of solar PV will be developed in Western Region (Ph-II-C).

The scope of work includes the design, engineering, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of the grid-connected solar projects. The successful bidder will have to provide operation and maintenance services for a period of 25 years. The project will not be developed at a single location, but on an aggregated basis.

The upper tariff ceiling for both the tenders is ₹3.05 (~$0.04318)/kWh. The bid-submission deadline for both the tenders is January 23, 2019.

In March 2018, MAHAGENCO had tendered 50 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to be developed in the northern region of the state to cater to the AG feeder load of various substations in the northern region of Maharashtra.

Previously, Mercom reported about MAHAGENCO’s plans to solarize Maharashtra’s agricultural feeders by constructing 1,500 MW of solar project capacity, with the capacity at each individual project expected to range from a minimum of 2 MW to a maximum of 50 MW.

The MAHAGENCO had also invited expression of interest (EoI) from the developers, landowners, and bidders for the development of up to 50 MW of solar power projects that will cater to the state’s agricultural feeder load.

In December 2017, MAHAGENCO issued three separate tenders for a total of 300 MW of grid-connected solar capacity to supply power to AG feeders.

A few months ago, Mercom had reported that in the state of Maharashtra, all grid-connected solar projects developed under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana will not be required to pay property tax for a period of 30 years. To avail the tax rebate, the developers need to submit certificates issued by the authority overseeing the program (Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana).

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Maharashtra has 1.36 GW of large-scale solar projects in operations and 1.35 GW of projects are under development pipeline.