MNRE Seeks Consultants to Evaluate its 5 GW VGF Program for Solar Projects

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has invited an Expression of Interest (EoI)  for the evaluation of its 5,000 MW Viability Gap Funding (VGF) program for solar projects.

This capacity falls under the batch-IV of Phase-II of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

The last date for the submission of interest is November 20, 2019.

The ministry seeks to evaluate the program with multiple objectives, which include an assessment of its effectiveness, impact, lessons to be drawn, and the need to continue with the program.



It would require critical analysis and evaluation of the solar developer selection criteria, methods adopted by the implementing agency for the program to suggest a better approach.

The scope of work also includes finding out the bottlenecks in the implementation of the program if it is extended to the northeast region.

The EoI also entails the assessment of solar tariffs quoted under this program as well as outside to arrive at a tariff that’s feasible in a competitive market like India.

Through this EoI, the MNRE wants to find a way to increase the involvement of state governments in this program. This EoI includes physical verification of at least 10% of the projects as well as the impact assessment of these projects in local areas.

The scope of work would also include a review and assessment of the central financial assistance (CFA) as well as the present financing mechanisms.

According to the eligibility criteria for bidding for the project, interested bidders should have an experience of at least five years in conducting such assignments and engaged in renewable energy activities.

The successful bidder should have an annual turnover of at least ₹10 million (~$0.14 million) during the last three years. Moreover, the bidder should have a sector-specific experience and in-house capability to manage the assignment, which will be an added advantage.

Nationally and internationally reputed organizations with adequate and specific expertise in conducting such assignments are also invited to submit their bids.

The review team will be required to use different methods to ensure that data gathered, and its analysis delivers evidence-based qualitative and quantitative information based on diverse sources proposed by the MNRE.

Interested bidders need to pay a sum of ₹200,000 (~$2,823) as the earnest money deposit (EMD).

Meanwhile, the present status of the 5,000 VGF program are as follows:

Out of the tendered capacity of 3,925 MW, 3,420 MW has been awarded, and a total of 2,120 MW of projects were commissioned as of July 16, 2019.

The states where these solar projects have been commissioned under the 5,000 MW VGF program are Gujarat-Solar park (Charanka), Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan (Bhadla Phase-III (Saurya Urja) and Bhadla Phase-IV (Adani), Uttar Pradesh Solar Park, Kadapa Solar Park, and Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka.

Previously, the ministry amended for the fourth time its guidelines for the implementation of its program under which the government aims to develop 2 GW of solar projects with VGF under the third batch of the National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase-II.

Then earlier this year, the ministry had announced that it received the approval by the President of India for the implementation of a subset of the existing 5,000 MW VGF program that includes developing 1,000 MW of solar projects in the northeastern states.

 

Image credit: EDF