The Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) has floated an expression of interest (EoI) for installing 10 MW of solar projects under component A of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM–KUSUM) program.
Interested bidders are expected to pay an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ₹100,000 (~$1,350)/MW in the form of a bank guarantee. The last date for submitting bids is December 1, 2020.
Selected solar power generators are expected to develop the necessary land and related infrastructure for the projects and enable connectivity from the 33/11 kV substation. They are also expected to get the necessary approvals and consent for the projects.
The decentralized grid-connected ground or stilt mounted projects will range between 500 kW and 2 MW in generation capacity. They will be installed on barren, uncultivable, and agricultural land within five kilometers from specified 33/11 kV substations. Applicants cannot apply for more than one solar project at a substation but can apply for a different one.
Solar power generators are allowed to install projects smaller than 500 kW in specific cases. The land requirement for setting up a project will be around four acres/MW.
They are also responsible for the design, construction, completion, testing, and commissioning of the projects and to supply the power generated for 25 years under a power purchase agreement (PPA). MePDCL will account for the power generated from these projects towards its renewable purchase obligation (RPO).
The DISCOM will sign a PPA with the solar power generator within two months from the date a letter of approval (LoA) is issued. The projects are to be commissioned within nine months from the date the LoA is issued.
No financial eligibility requirements were specified for farmers, groups, or cooperatives to develop the projects. However, developers must have a net worth of at least ₹10 million (~$134,970)/MW to be eligible to participate. They must also maintain a capacity utilization factor (CUF)) of at least 15% annually for the duration of the PPA.
According to Mercom India Tender Tracker, 290 MW of solar projects have been issued for decentralized solar projects under Component-A of the KUSUM program from agencies like Bangalore Electricity Supply Company and the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency.
Notably, the central government has ramped up the targets of the KUSUM program while reducing central financial assistance. The program now hopes to achieve an enhanced solar capacity target of 30.8 GW by 2022 from the earlier 25.75 GW. The MNRE also reduced the amount of central financial assistance (CFA) that will be provided under the program to ₹340.35 billion (~$4.61 billion) from ₹344.22 billion (~$4.66 billion) previously. The KUSUM program was announced last year with three components – A, B, and C. While component A’s objectives have remained unchanged, components B and C have been revised.
Nithin Thomas is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. More articles from Nithin.