MNRE Invites Proposals for Pilot Projects of Innovative Solar Applications

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has invited proposals for pilot demonstration of new and innovative solar applications under Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and MNRE’s bilateral project.

The objective of the project— Innovative Solar Areas (IN-Solar)— is to find innovative ways for expanding the application of photovoltaics to optimize the use of land. The project is covered under the scope of India’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (AKAM) initiative.

Proposals are invited from participants to implement the ideas that are technically viable but need pilot projects for their technical performance and financial assessment. Only participants willing to pilot their ideas upon selection are eligible to participate in the project.

The last day to submit the proposals is April 28, 2022.

Companies or start-ups incorporated under the Companies Act, research institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, societies registered under the Society Act, foreign companies, or research institutions in partnership with Indian companies are eligible to participate in the project.

MNRE has floated an idea challenge with various categories to identify ideas that can be funded. The categories or themes for the idea challenge include solar installation on innovative sites like waste landfills and closed mines; vertical installation of solar, like building-integrated solar and solar for fencing; decentralized innovative solar applications like solar for cold storage; green hydrogen-based applications; and any other innovative applications of solar.

The winner will be provided with a maximum of €200,000 (~$217,602) to procure materials for the pilot project. The project must be implemented within six months from the formal signing of the agreement. The participant must clearly define their interest in carrying out the pilot project. The winner must fund soft components such as workforce and land by themselves.

Participants will be selected through a two-stage process. In the first stage, a jury consisting of a representative from MNRE, the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), and GIZ will ensure the applications are filled and are submitted along with supporting documents. The jury will also evaluate if the proposed pilot meets the objective of the challenge and falls under the defined categories. Only qualified applications in the first stage will be sent forward to be further evaluated in stage two.

In stage two, the degree of innovation of the proposed pilot, scalability of the proposed solution, ease of implementation, cost-effectiveness of the proposed pilot, and the impact of the proposed pilot will be evaluated. Applicants also must give a virtual or physical presentation before the jury. The results and score will be announced further, to which GIZ will enter into a contract with the winner to disburse the grant for the pilot project.

In February, MNRE had issued the framework to promote and develop decentralized renewable energy-based livelihood applications.