SECI Halves Tender Capacity for Renewable Energy Bundled with Thermal

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has issued amendments to the request for selection (RfS) document for the supply of 5 GW of round-the-clock (RTC) power from grid-connected renewable energy power projects, complemented with power from coal-based thermal power projects.

The total tendered capacity has been reduced to 2.5 GW from the initial 5 GW.

The single composite tariff has also been replaced by the weighted average levelized tariff.

In August last year, SECI had first issued amendments to the tender documents for the supply of 5 GW of round-the-clock (RTC) power from grid-connected renewable projects bundled with power from thermal projects. The tender was initially floated in March last year.


As per the latest  RfS document, the bidder can submit a single bid offering a minimum amount of 250 MW capacity and a maximum of 2.5 GW. The range was 500 MW to 5 GW earlier.

The amendments specify that the sources of generation and the energy storage system (ESS) may be co-located or located at other sites and considered a single project. In the case of power being injected from the ESS at a different location other than the renewable energy components, applicable transmission charges of power from such ESS will be borne by the developer. Earlier, it was mentioned that the renewable components, the thermal power component, and the ESS should be located within the same regional load dispatch center region.

Another amended clause says that bidders will be allowed to tie up with any quantum of non-renewable energy power capacity. As per the provisions of the RfS, PPA and PSA will therefore not be applicable for projects without any tie-up with a non-renewable energy power project. In case the developer chooses to tie up with any other source for complementing the renewable power supplied from the project, such an arrangement will be limited to a single non-renewable energy power source for each developer. The source and quantum of tied up capacity from a non-RE source cannot change during the PPA tenure.

In case of a tie-up with a coal-based thermal power plant using domestic coal only, the coal-based generator should also be a party to the PPA to supply domestic coal to such power projects. The ESS, if any, might be constituted as part of the project or maybe tied-up separately with a third party by the developer.

The different components of RTC power can be connected with the central transmission utility (CTU) at different interstate transmission system (ISTS) substations. Earlier, it was mentioned that the different components of the RTC power could be connected with the CTU at different substations but within the same regional load dispatch center jurisdiction.

It has also been added that the summation of the generation schedule of renewable power and power from any other source cannot be more than the contracted capacity in any time block. The quantum of proposed annual energy to be supplied from renewable energy sources should be at least 51% of the total annual energy proposed to be supplied. This ratio of committed annual energy from renewable and non-renewable sources will remain unchanged after bid submission.

In another amended clause, SECI mentions that the amount to be paid as damages will be 400% in the case of a shortfall from the specified 85% minimum capacity, calculated at the applicable tariff payable during the year. Earlier, the amount to be paid for such damages was 25% of the cost of the shortfall in energy terms.

Regarding the applicable tariff, the nodal agency said that the quoted tariff should comprise four parts – fixed component (renewable power), non-renewable power (fixed), and a variable component (non-renewable power- for fuel), and non-renewable power-(for transportation). The fixed components of the tariff of renewable power and non-renewable power should be quoted for each year as per PPA terms.

The renewable energy supplied should be paid at the renewable energy (fixed) tariff applicable for that year as quoted by the successful bidder. For non-renewable power, the fixed component will be paid based on the monthly available capacity from non-renewable sources at the rate of non-renewable power fixed tariff quoted by the bidder applicable for that year.

In another amendment, SECI mentioned that for a project of the size of not more than 1000 MW, the scheduled commissioning date of the full capacity should be  24 months from the effective date of the PPA. For a project size of more than 1000 MW, the scheduled commissioning date of the full capacity should be 30 months from the PPA date.

Earlier, it was mentioned that for a project of size below 500 MW, the commissioning date for the project’s full capacity should be 18 months from the PPA date. For a project size of more than 500 MW but not more than 1000 MW, the scheduled commissioning date for the project’s full capacity should be 24 months from the PPA date.

Last year, the Ministry of Power amended its guidelines for tariff-based competitive bidding for power procurement from RTC power projects to allow them to be bundled with any non-renewable source of energy rather than just coal-based thermal projects. To tackle issues like intermittency in power generation from renewable energy projects, limited power supply hours, and the low capacity utilization of transmission infrastructure, the ministry had allowed renewable energy projects to be bundled with “firm power” from any other source or storage to provide RTC power to distribution companies.

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