Week in India: BHEL Set to Procure 12 Million Multicrystalline Solar Cells, Karnataka Electricity Regulator Reduces Tariff for a Delayed 10 MW Solar Project, MNRE Mulls Removal of Tariff Caps for Solar and Wind Tenders and More

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SECI’s 1.2 GW Solar Tender: Tariff Revision Allowed in Case of Duty Under Change in Law

The Solar Electricity Corporation of India (SECI) has amended the power purchase and sale agreement (PPA and PSA) for its 1,200 MW solar tender, adding another point to the existing ‘change in law’ clause. The additional clause states that in case of a change in the law on account of anti-dumping duty or safeguard duty or customs duty on solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, the solar power developer will be entitled to either an increase or decrease in the tariff. This increase or decrease in tariff will be for an amount equivalent to ₹0.05 (~$0.00070)/kWh for every increase or decrease of ₹100,000 (~$1,402) of impact on the cost of solar PV modules.

Azure Power’s Revenue up 25%, Net Loss Rises Amid Higher Expenses and Curtailment in AP

Azure Global Power Limited reported revenue of ₹3.05 billion (~$42.6 million) for Q3 FY20, an increase of 25% year-over-year but the company still registered a net loss of ₹1.36 billion (~$19 million) for Q3 of the financial year 2019-20. The company in its statement said that the adjusted EBIDTA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the quarter ended December 31, 2019, was ₹2.1 billion (~$29.5 million), an increase of 15% when compared to the same period in 2018. The net loss for the Q3 FY20 was ₹1.36 billion (~$19.03 million) compared to the net profit of ₹165.3 million (~$2.32 million) during the same period in 2018. The company stated that the higher losses are primarily due to higher provision for accounts receivable, management transition, write-offs related to the solar green bonds issued in the previous quarter, and higher income tax expenses.

BHEL Set to Procure 12 Million Multicrystalline Solar Cells

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has invited bids to manufacture and supply 12 million units of 156.75 mm multicrystalline solar cells with five busbars and 4.62Wp. The cells should be made from multicrystalline silicon, and the dimension of the cells should be 156.75+-0.25 mm or 157+-0.25 mm. The solar thickness of the cells should be at least 200 microns. The power output of the cells should be 4.62 watts or more, and the solar cell efficiency should at least be 18.8%. The last date for the submission of bids is February 21, 2020. The delivery of the first batch of 3 million solar cells should be made within four weeks from the date of the purchase order, and the remaining should be delivered in three batches of 3 million every four weeks thereafter.

Karnataka Electricity Regulator Reduces Tariff for a Delayed 10 MW Solar Project

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has dismissed a petition by Shorapur Solar Power Limited that argued its 10 MW solar project was delayed due to force majeure (unforeseeable) events. Due to the delay, the Commission ordered that the petitioner is entitled to a tariff of ₹4.36 (~$0.061)/kWh in place of the originally agreed tariff of ₹5.13 (~$0.071)/kWh. The Commission also directed Shorapur Solar Power Private Limited to pay liquidated damages to Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (CESC) in line with the power purchase agreement (PPA). Earlier, Shorapur Solar Power Limited had filed a petition requesting the Commission to declare that the scheduled commercial operation date be extended to the period corresponding to the time taken for the grant of the evacuation approval (142 days). It had also requested the Commission to put aside the demand issued by CESC for the payment of liquidated damages towards the delay in achieving the COD within the scheduled timeline.

MNRE Mulls Removal of Tariff Caps for Solar and Wind Tenders

According to industry sources, in a meeting with the developers of solar and wind projects, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has proposed the removal of tariff caps, which, if it happens, would come as a huge relief to the renewable energy industry. Mercom has been consistently reporting on how tariff caps are slowing down auction activity in the sector. Developers have denied bidding at the tariff levels specified by state agencies instead of a market-based auction, where the lowest bid wins. This has been the reason for most tender deadlines to be extended or retendered after raising the upper tariff ceiling. This trend of tender extensions and retenders has also led to a delay in auction activity.

DISCOMs Expected to Carry out Rooftop Solar Consumer Awareness and Publicity Drive

Though distribution companies (DISCOMs) can take the help of state nodal agencies (SNAs) for implementing the second phase of the rooftop solar (RTS) program, they have to be at the forefront of its implementation process. This is the crux of the latest suggestions from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), which also said that the maximum time required for the entire process of rooftop solar installation should be between 2.5-5 months after the consumer submits his request.

Gujarat Transmission Corporation Invites EPC Contractors for 185 MW of Solar Projects

The Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) has floated a tender for 185 MW of grid-connected solar projects ranging between 20 MW and 40 MW in capacity at various substations of the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation (GETCO). The tender is for the design, engineering, supply and procurement, construction, operation, and maintenance of the projects. The scope of work includes the design, engineering, supply, procurement, construction, operation, and maintenance of these projects. The cost of the project is projected at ₹7.4 billion (~$103.7 million). Interested bidders are to pay an earnest money deposit of ₹400,000 (~$5,602)/MW undertaken.

Haryana to Hold Pre-bid Meeting for Solarization of 466 Pumps Under KUSUM Program

The Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) has invited bidders for a pre-bid meeting for the solarization of 466 grid-connected solar pump sets on two selected feeders at Biana in Karnal district and Marupur in Yamunanagar district. The installation is under a pilot project that falls under the component-C of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program. Last year, the state gave its approval to install solar-powered tube well pumps in the state. The pilot project involved the installation of 468 solar pumps totaling a cumulative capacity of around 2.9 MW. The estimated value of the project is ₹165 million (~$2.3 million). Although the last date for bid submission is yet to be announced, a pre-bid meeting has been scheduled for February 13, 2020, in Panchkula.

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