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The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has extended the bid submission deadline for its tender for 1.2 GW interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected  solar projects in western India.

The NTPC had tendered the projects in November 2018 with an initial bid submission deadline set on December 19, 2018. Later, the deadline was extended to January 3, 2019.

The new bid submission deadline now is July 1, 2019. The bids will be opened on July 2, 2019. The tender states that the minimum bid capacity will be 50 MW while the maximum capacity is set at 600 MW. There is no ceiling tariff for this project.

Unlike Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) bids, NTPC tenders do not come with any fixed upper tariff cap but still manage to generate good participation from the developers resulting in competitive bids that SECI has been aiming. Solar project developers hope that the government will allow the price mechanism to be determined by market dynamics rather than government intervention and NTPC is allowing project developers the option they have been waiting.



Mercom contacted an NTPC official who said, “This is the first time this type of tender has been issued by any organization where the NTPC switchyards are in the vicinity of generating stations.”

The projects will be developed on a build, own, operate (BOO) model wherein a developer will independently own and operate the respective projects. The scope of work involves the design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, packing, and forwarding, transportation, unloading, storage, installation, and commissioning of grid-connected solar PV projects. The projects must be located close to NTPC switchyards and connected to the inter-state transmission system (ISTS).

The main features of the tender are the use of indigenous switchyards, ISTS-connection, and BOO development model.

Recently, the NTPC also floated a tender calling government entities to procure power from 1 GW of solar projects.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, NTPC has 874 MW of commissioned solar projects in the country.

NTPC is also likely to get a trading license soon, as has been proposed recently by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).