The Indian government has issued a tender to assess the effectiveness of its 5 GW VGF scheme for solar PV deployment with the help of an independent consultant. Meanwhile SECI has declared winners for its 1.2 GW ISTS-VI solar tender. Pictured is RK Singh, the minister heading India's MNRE. (Photo Credit: Press Information Bureau)
- Mercom India Research reports SECI has awarded 960 MW of grid connected solar PV capacity under ISTS Phase-VI for which original capacity tendered was 1.2 GW
- ReNew Power, Avaada Energy and Masaya Solar Energy each won 300 MW at a winning tariff of INR 2.71 per kWh, while Tata Power secured 60 MW for INR 2.72 per kWh tariff
- MNRE has launched a tender seeking consultants to evaluate its existing VGF scheme Batch-IV Phase-II under which it aims to deploy 5 GW of grid connected PV capacity
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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has received the lowest bids at INR 2.71 ($0.038) for its 1.2 GW grid connected solar PV tender with interstate transmission system (ISTS) connectivity Phase-VI. Three developers had offered these tariff levels and each won 300 MW, reported Mercom India Research.
The three lowest bidders are ReNew Power, Avaada Energy and Masaya Solar Energy, part of Hong Kong headquartered UPC Renewables, according to Mercom.
Tata Power bid for 300 MW too but had to settle with only 60 MW with a bid level of INR 2.72 ($0.038) per kWh. Even though bids received were for the entire 1.2 GW capacity, tender rules made sure only up to 80% of the capacity bid is awarded.
The 1.2 GW tender was issued in June 2019 stipulating substation connection points in Madhya Pradesh (see SECI Tenders 2.4 GW Solar With ISTS Connectivity). Mercom says the tender was later revised – first only Madhya Pradesh bidders were eligible, later it was opened to the entire country; the tender cap was also raised from INR 2.65 ($2.65) per kWh to eventually INR 2.78 ($0.038) per kWh.
SECI has auctioned 6.44 GW of solar project capacity under ISTS-I to VI now, according to Mercom.
Tender for VGF scheme evaluation
The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) wants to hire services of a consultant to help evaluate its program ‘Implementation of scheme for setting up of over 5,000 MW Grid Connected Solar PV Power Projects with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-IV of Phase-II of the JNNSM’.
The scheme was officially launched in February 2016. Through this evaluation, the ministry wants to assess the extent to which it has been implemented between FY2015-16 to FY2018-19 by random sample selections of solar projects out of all projects commissioned in the scheme.
It aims to evaluate the effectiveness, impact and lessons to be drawn as well as needs to continue. The assessment should also result in suggestions if the scheme can be extended to the northeast of the country including Sikkim regions, feasible solar tariffs, physical verification of the projects awarded, critical analysis of the solar power developer selection criteria, among other objectives.
The duration of the evaluation is four months from the date of award of the study.
Last date to submit bids in response to this tender is November 20, 2019. Details of the tender conditions can be viewed on MNRE website.
In January 2019, SECI was announced to be the implementing agency for 1 GW of grid connected solar power capacity to be developed in north eastern states of India including Sikkim through competitive bidding with tariffs capped at INR 3.00 per kWh as subset of the current 5 GW VGF scheme (see India Approves VGF For 1 GW Solar In Northeast).