The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has released amendments to the guidelines for the implementation of Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) program.
Under Component C of the KUSUM program, the government aims to solarize one million grid-connected agriculture pumps of individual capacity up to 7.5 HP by 2022.
The ministry has made changes relating to the implementation arrangement and tendering process of the guidelines. Now, system integrators have also been allowed to take part in the bidding process.
The amendment added that the implementing agency should invite bids for the empanelment of vendors through a transparent bidding process. The empanelment of vendors could be state-wise or feeder wise, as per the decision of the concerned state. To ensure quality and post-installation services, the implementing agencies should allow either one or both of the following two categories to participate in the tender for empanelment of vendors:
- Manufacturer of solar panels or solar water pumps
- A joint venture of manufacturer of solar panels or manufacturer for solar water pumps with system integrators
The amendments said that, preferably, a single vendor should be given the responsibility of a feeder to ensure better service and accountability.
In August last year, the MNRE had announced that only the manufacturers of solar pumps and modules could bid for tenders under the KUSUM program after making amendments to the guidelines.
However, system integrators of solar water pump systems had raised concerns about the KUSUM program allowing only manufacturers to participate in tenders. The integrators had argued that the amendment issued by the MNRE could change the dynamics of how the industry operates and could lead to several issues affecting the smooth implementation of the program. The system integrators said they play a crucial role in the solar pump industry, and this move by the MNRE could have negative ramifications for the industry at large. An executive at a system integration company previously told Mercom that 60% of all solar water pump installations in India had been done by the integrators.
The government has begun the process of allocating the capacities to various states under KUSUM program. The capacities have been allocated to several states in line with the demand received from states, the targets listed under the KUSUM program, and the guidelines. These will be applicable for the first year of the program.
Previously, it was reported that MNRE had issued guidelines to implement Component-C of PM KUSUM program that aims at promoting solar in agriculture with the help of grid-connected pumps.
Image credit: JREDA
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.