Week In India: MSEDCL’s New Tender For 500 MW, NHPC Extends Deadline For 2 GW Solar Tender, Bihar Announces A 5 MW Tender, And More


Bihar Announces A 5 MW Tender For Residential Rooftop Solar Projects


The South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) has floated a tender for 5 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects across the state for the residential sector. The scope of work includes the design, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of the projects along with integrated, comprehensive maintenance for five years. Interested bidders are expected to submit an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ₹200,000 (~$2,803). The last date for the submission of bids is January 30, 2020.  A pre-bid meeting will be held on January 16, 2020, according to the notice issued by the state DISCOM. The state’s first large-scale solar tender for 250 MW has been in limbo for a while due to various roadblocks. Recently, the state reissued the tender with a revised ceiling tariff of ₹3.15 (~$0.04)/kWh.


Maharashtra Retenders 1.35 GW Of Solar Projects, Ups Tariff Cap To ₹3.30/kWh


The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has reissued a tender for 1,350 MW of solar projects to be developed across 30 districts. The tariff has been raised to ₹3.30 (~$0.04)/kWh, from ₹3.15 ($0.044) /kWh. The submission of the forms has a set last date of January 29, 2020. Earlier it was floated on September 2019, these tenders were put on hold due to elections of the Maharashtra government in October because the developers wanted to wait till the winning party makes any amendments in the policy before participating in the tenders. The tender document states that projects of 50 MW capacity would be developed in 24 districts or circles. Projects of 25 MW capacity will be installed across six districts. Interested bidders are expected to pay an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ₹100,000/MW (~$1,401). The scope of the project work states that successful bidders must set up solar projects, including the transmission and distribution network, up to the delivery point at their own cost. It also includes acquiring necessary approvals, permits, and clearances. MSEDCL said it would enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with selected bidders for 25 years from the commercial operation date (COD) of the projects. Once selected, bidders must pay a performance bank guarantee (PBG) of ₹500,000 (~$7,008)/MW within 30 days from the date of issue of the letter of approval (LOA).

DISCOMs Can Pass on Incentives to Solar Project Owners Under KUSUM Program

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a clarification for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Uttham Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program which states that the distribution companies (DISCOMs) can pass on the procurement-based incentive (PBI) given to them by the central government under Component- A of the program to renewable project owners to get more competitive tariff. The MNRE’s clarifications further state that the implementing agencies can invite a single bid under Component-A of the program based on a pre-fixed levelized tariff for the installation of projects for all the distribution sub-stations in the state or within the DISCOM area. The ministry has also clarified that the solarization of pumps above 7.5 HP will be allowed but the Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will be limited to the cap of 7.5 HP (up to 30%). Amidst growing disappointment among the stakeholders, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has invited bids for off-grid solar water pump systems across India. The National Solar Energy Federation of India has been opposing the program mandate of using domestic solar cells in solar modules used for the solar pump installations and also wrote to the Minister of Power, suggesting several modifications. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the launch of the KUSUM program, which will provide ₹334.22 billion (~$4.69 billion) in central financial support under the KUSUM program. In all, 181,200 solar pumps are to be installed across the country, categorized under clusters in each state.

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NHPC Extends Deadline For Its 2 GW Solar Tender, Raises Tariff Cap

The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has extended the bid submission deadline of its tender for 2 GW of solar projects. The deadline for the submission of bids has been extended from October 17, 2019, to January 10, 2020, while the bid opening date has now been scheduled for January 14, 2020. Earlier the deadline for this tender was September 27, 2019. Apart from the deadline extension, the NHPC has also notified other modifications to the tender. The minimum tariff payable to the project has now been revised to ₹2.78 (~$0.04)/kWh from ₹2.65 ($0.037)/kWh. Initially, the NHPC had set a tariff ceiling of ₹2.95 ($0.041)/kWh. But later, in October 2019, the ceiling tariff was revised to ₹2.65 ($0.037)/kWh. The tariff will be applicable for 25 years.The amount of earnest money deposit (EMD) has also been reduced from ₹1 million (~$13,978) to ₹400,000 (~$5,591)/MW. Also, the performance bank guarantee (PBG) has been revised to ₹2 million (27,957)/MW from ₹2.5 million (~$34,946)/MW. A senior official of NHPC told Mercom that the bid submission date has been extended due to the MNRE’s guidelines which were amended in October 2019. The NHPC states that the interested bidder can bid for projects at multiple locations as long as each project has a minimum capacity of 50 MW. However, the bidder is expected to quote a single tariff for the entire project capacity offered. Also, The total capacity of bids should not exceed 600 MW. The bidders have to declare the annual capacity utilization factor (CUF) of the projects at the time of submitting the response to RfS, and the developers will be allowed to revise it once within the first year of the project commissioning. After that, the CUF will remain the same for the entire term of the PPA. The CUF at any point cannot be less than 19%. Another clause added is that in case the partial capacity offered to the last bidder after the conclusion of the e-reverse auction is less than 50% of the total quoted capacity by the bidder, the bidder can refuse partial capacity offered. On the other hand, if the partial capacity offered is greater than or equal to 50% of the total quoted capacity by the bidder, it will be mandatory to accept the partial capacity offered, subject to the total cumulative capacity awarded after the auction to the successful bidders not exceeding 2,000 MW.

MSEDCL’s New Tender For 500 MW Of Solar Projects Comes With A Tariff Cap Of ₹2.90/kWh

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has issued a request for selection (RfS) for the long-term procurement of power from 500 MW of intra-state grid-connected solar power projects (Phase – V). Interested bidders are expected to submit an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ₹500,000 (~$6,989). The bidders selected by the MSEDCL are also expected to submit a performance bank guarantee (PBG) of ₹1.4 million (~$19,570)/MW. The MSEDCL has set the ceiling tariff of ₹2.90 (~$0.041)/kWh for this tender. The last date for submission of responses to the RfS is January 28, 2020. The RfS said that bids must be for a minimum project capacity of 5 MW. It noted that the selection of grid-connected solar projects for a total capacity of 500 MW is to be carried out through e-bidding, followed by an e-reverse auction process. To be eligible to take part in the competitive bidding process, applicants must have had a net worth of at least ₹55 million (~$768,822) and a minimum annual turnover of ₹2.5 million (~$34,947) in the previous financial year. The RfS also stated that power producers must declare the capacity utilization factor (CUF) of their project at the time of signing the power purchase agreement (PPA) and will not be allowed to change it within the first year of the commercial operation date (COD). The CUF is expected to be at least 19% over a year.The bidder is also mandated to identify 100% of the land required for the project at the time of financial closure. If private land is leased for the project, the lease should allow the transfer of land to the procurer, in case of default of the solar power developer.

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CEL Floats Tender For 5 MW Of Multicrystalline Solar Modules In Maharashtra

The Central Electronics Limited (CEL) has floated a tender for 5 MW of multicrystalline solar modules for several substations in Maharashtra. The modules must be rated for a minimum of 335 W with 72 cells and should have a positive power tolerance. They are also to be grouped and rated based on their output into two categories – 335 Wp and 335-339.99 W. The modules must have at least five bus bars. The scope of the work includes the design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, and supply of the solar modules. Interested bidders are expected to pay an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ₹1 million (~$13,978). The last date for the submission of bids is January 13, 2020. To be eligible to take part in the competitive bidding process, bidders are expected to be original PV module manufacturers with an installed automated line facility for manufacturing at least 30 MW annually. They must also have successfully manufactured and supplied multi or monocrystalline solar modules ranging between 325 W, and 350 W. Bidders are also expected to have a cumulative turnover of ₹90 million (~$1.26 million) in the last three financial years. The efficiency of the modules must be at least 16%, and their fill factor must be over 75%. The modules must also be warranted for output wattage, and it should not be less than 90% at the end of 10 years and 80% at the end of 25 years. The tender’s payment terms state that 85% of the total payment would be made within 30 days of receipt of the supplier’s invoice at CEL, and the remaining 15% would be made within 90 days of receipt of the invoice.

World’s Largest Solar Park At Karnataka’s Pavagada Now Is Fully Operational

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The world’s largest solar park in Karnataka has become fully operational. The Pavagada Solar Park is located in Tumakuru district of Karnataka, has been developed by the Karnataka Solar Park Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL), a joint venture between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Karnataka Renewable Energy (KREDL). Initially, the plan was to build a solar park of capacity 2,000 MW spanning over 13,000 acres of land. Later, an additional capacity of 50 MW was added. The final 200 MW capacity developed by SB Energy (SoftBank) has now been commissioned, getting the world’s biggest solar park up and running. Earlier, KSPDCL had informed that it expected the entire 2,050 MW at Pavagada to be operational by December 2019. When contacted, a KSPDCL official informed, “The entire 2,050 MW of solar projects in Pavagada is operational and generating power. After SB Energy commissioned its final 100 MW of solar project on December 17, 2019, the solar park was officially fully operational.” Out of the total 2,050 MW capacity, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) implemented 600 MW of solar PV projects, SECI implemented 200 MW, while KREDL implemented 1,250 MW.

Gujarat Proposes Amendments to its Net Metering Rules for Rooftop Solar

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has issued a draft notification regarding the second set of amendments for its net metering regulations for grid-connected rooftop solar systems. The new amendment states that the distribution licensee is to provide the net metering facilities to consumers, provided that the cumulative capacity to be allowed at a particular distribution transformer does not exceed the capacity of the distribution transformer. The earlier regulation mentioned the cumulative capacity to be allowed at a particular distribution transformer would not exceed 65% of the peak capacity of the distribution transformer. Another notable amendment is the maximum rooftop solar installation capacity allowed at consumer’s premises. The earlier regulation mandated this to be a maximum of 50% of the consumer’s sanctioned load or contract demand but not more than 1 MW. In the new amendment, this rule applies to all consumers other than residential consumers and micro, small and, medium (manufacturing) enterprises (MSMEs). Whereas, for the residential consumers and MSMEs, the rooftop solar capacity installation allowed is irrespective of their sanctioned load or contract demand. In its draft amendment, the state has come up with updated guidelines on how after consumption, the excess energy injected to the grid is to be billed. The amended regulation states that any energy injected to the grid before the commissioning of the project will be deemed as inadvertent power, and the consumer or the owner will not be eligible to receive any monetary compensation for it. There are many such amendments proposed by Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission.

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