The Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) has tendered 500 MW (AC) of grid-connected solar in the state of Tamil Nadu. The state-owned company has mandated that each project will be a minimum of 50 MW, and the projects will be spread over a maximum of 10 locations in Tamil Nadu. Contractors will be selected through competitive bidding and the projects will be developed on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. The projects will be commissioned within a one-year timeframe from the Letter of Award (LoA) issue date.
The company has also stated that bidders can source modules and cells domestically, as well as from international manufacturers. The bids will be evaluated separately. If the bidder decides to bid using indigenously manufactured PV cells and modules, they will need to follow the domestic content requirement (DCR) criteria prescribed by the latest guidelines from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) program for central public sector utilities (CPSUs).
The scope of work includes the procurement of land, design, engineering, manufacturing, inspection, supply, insurance, transport, erection, storage, testing and commissioning. The successful contractor will be responsible for provisional take over with associated power evacuation system, including grid-connectivity approval from state authorities, external transmission lines and right of way. The contractor will be responsible for project operation and maintenance for a 15-year period.
According to a NLC official, the power purchase agreements (PPAs) for these projects will be signed with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). TANGEDCO has been the single largest purchaser of power from NLC India.
This tender is expected to attract more interest compared to the recent TANGEDCO tender as it is a EPC tender with a public sector unit. According to Mercom’s India Project Tracker, NLC has commissioned a 10 MW solar project in Neyveli in Tamil Nadu and two projects of 65 MW each are also under construction in Neyveli.