The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) conducted the auction for 1,500 MW of solar projects under the second phase of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) program (Tranche-II). The projects have been allocated through the viability gap funding (VGF) route.
Out of the 1,500 MW capacity, 1,104 MW have been auctioned. The tender was undersubscribed, receiving financial bids only for 1,381 MW. As the tender had been undersubscribed, only 80% (1,104 MW) of the bid capacity was awarded out of the 1.5 GW tender.
Capacities have been awarded to Singareni Collieries Company Limited (81 MW), which quoted the lowest VGF amount of ₹6.8 million ($95,492)/MW and Indore Municipal Corporation (100 MW) quoted ~₹6.9 million (~$96,616)/MW. The National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) which quoted the highest VGF of ₹7 million ($98,301) was successful in winning 923 MW out of 1,104 MW it had bid for. The highest VGF of ₹7 million (~$98,301)/MW for these projects is the maximum permissible limit.
NTPC has already invited bids seeking EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) contractors to construct the 923 MW project.
SECI issued the tender in August 2019, which included mini and microgrid projects. The tender stated that the power generated from these projects is expected to be procured by the government for self-use, either directly or through distribution companies on the payment of mutually agreed usage charges of not more than ₹3.50 (~$0.050)/kWh, which should be exclusive of any other third party charges like wheeling and transmission, point of connection, and cross-subsidy surcharges.
According to the tender document, the minimum capacity that can be awarded to a bidder is 1 MW. The projects can be developed anywhere in the country, and the cells and modules used in the projects should be manufactured locally. The projects may be implemented as ground-mounted, rooftop, floating/canal-top, or a combination of these depending on the requirements of the developer.
The maximum time allowed for the commissioning of the full project capacity is limited to 30 months from the date of issuance of the letter of award.
SECI had extended the bid submission deadline for this tender to September 13, 2019. Initially, it had announced August 23, 2019, as the deadline for bid submission.
In September 2019, it was also reported that SECI conducted the auction for 2,000 MW of grid-connected solar projects (Tranche-1) under the second phase of CPSU. Capacities that were awarded to NHDC were 25 MW, Singareni Collieries won 90 MW, Assam Power Distribution Company Limited was awarded 30 MW. Similarly, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Nalanda University, and NTPC bagged 3 MW, 5 MW, and 769.4 MW, respectively.
Image credit: Renovalia Energy
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.