MNRE Invites Bids for Evaluation of Off-Grid and Decentralized Solar Applications Program

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has invited bids for evaluating the third phase of its off-grid and decentralized solar PV applications program.

The evaluation study will cover the following:

  • Assess the status of implementation of the projects approved under the program
  • Collect and assess feedback of stakeholders on the implementation of the program
  • Assess the constraints and barriers and possible remedial measures
  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the applications supported and indicate whether the objective is achieved
  • To assess the efficacy of implementation models introduced by MNRE in the guidelines and recommend modifications

The study will be done on a trial basis, and the consulting firm will collect data from at least five states for each of the three applications.

The last date for the submission of bids is October 14, 2020. Interested bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹50,000 (~$679) as the earnest money deposit (EMD).


The off-grid and decentralized solar PV applications program Phase III was approved on August 07, 2018, and has the following three components:

  • Installation of 300,000 solar streetlights across the country, emphasizing areas where there is no facility for street lighting systems through grid power
  • Installation of 100 MW of off-grid solar power projects of individual size up to 25 kW in areas where grid power has not reached or is not reliable
  • Providing 2.5 million solar lamps in the north-eastern states and extremism affected districts to school-going children, up to the secondary school certification level

The program was initially valid until March 31, 2020, and later it was extended to March 31, 2021. It was also decided that the projects would be installed under the renewable energy service company (RESCO) model during the extended period. MNRE had also issued guidelines for off-grid solar power projects under the RESCO model.

Recently, the MNRE had published a draft notification on the specifications of lithium batteries that can be used for off-grid solar applications like solar street lightings and solar study lamps.

The off-grid and decentralized solar program is part of the National Solar Mission with a target of 2 GW capacity from off-grid solar applications by the year 2022. The study has to evaluate the execution of the program by collecting information from state implementing agencies, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders.

To take part in the bidding process, the bidder should be a reputed consultant or consulting organization having an experience of five years in similar assignments. The average annual turnover of the bidder should be at least ₹15 million (~$203,630) per year during the last three years. The bidder should also have sector-specific experience and in-house capability to manage the assignment.