SECI Issues Tender to Facilitate Interstate Solar and Wind Power Trading

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited trading licensees to participate in a tender for providing support services to facilitate the trading of power at SECI, New Delhi. The bid‑submission deadline is December 11, 2017.

Barred from participation are technical and financial joint ventures (JVs) as well as consortiums of companies. In addition, only Category I or Category II trading licensees registered by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) are allowed to participate in the tender.

The successful bidder (a trading licensee) will be required to provide an adequate amount of skilled manpower that meet the necessary qualifications and have relevant experience – including experience handling inter-state power trading – to handle the various responsibilities involved in trading transactions.

The selected trading licensee will be responsible for managing SECI’s control room and all power scheduling related activities. The trading licensee will be responsible for complying with the CERC’s regulations and norms for power trading and will also assist SECI in its compliance, wherever required.

The initial contract period will last two years, with the option for a year-long extension available based on the satisfactory performance of the contractor (trading licensee).

SECI has said that if the power trading control room must be shifted to another place in India, that the trading licensee will then discharge its services at the new premises at no additional cost to SECI. The trading licensee would also be responsible for assisting SECI in developing the required infrastructure at the new location.

SECI’s latest move is a novel idea. SECI conducts most of India’s renewable energy auctions and, in many cases, it is also the PPA signatory. Estimates from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) show that under the SECI’s viability gap funding (VGF) program 400 MW of operational solar projects under NSM Phase-II, Batch 2 are for Interstate operations; another 750 MW of solar has been tendered under the NSM Bhadla-UP program; and 1,000 MW of wind power has been tendered. All three of the tendered projects will have the ability to conduct interstate operations in order to ensure that 100 percent of their capacity can be carried out.

If all projects are allocated and get commissioned within 13 months of the signing of the PPAs in their present form, then the total quantum of annual energy transactions (for 2,150 MW) – assuming a 19 percent capacity utilization factor (CUF) for the solar/wind projects – can be estimated at approximately 3,578 million units.

This latest tender could create an avenue for SECI to profit if all of the trading is done transparently and professionally.

According to Mercom India Research, SECI has also tendered another 1,000 MW of ISTS-connected wind power projects under Tranche-II in Jun 2017, and received a winning low bid of ₹2.64 (~$0.0413)/kWh quoted in an October 2017 auction.

In June 2017, the waiver period for ISTS charges and losses for solar projects was extended to December 31, 2019.