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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids for 50 MW grid-connected solar PV projects in the state of Maharashtra. This is separate from the 450 MW tender it had floated few days back for Maharashtra (see SECI Tender For Maharashtra).
The request for selection (RfS) documents have been issued for the 50 MW projects in Part A under the National Solar Mission Phase-II, Batch-IV for the domestic content requirement category (DCR). The DCR category makes it mandatory for developers to use locally sourced material. In February 2016, SECI had to re-launch a tender for 50 MW capacity under DCR as it found only one bidder.
India has been battling the issue of mandatory DCR with the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US wants India to remove DCR and found support in the WTO, which ruled against India. Yet the Indian government is making efforts to work it out. Recently, there were media reports in India that stated the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued a directive to energy distribution companies (DISCOMS) that advises them to allow foreign players to participate in tenders in a joint venture with local players or as part of a consortium. This can be allowed if they establish an Indian manufacturing facility through a manufacturing program (see Indian PV Manufacturers).
SECI also announced that it has extended the deadline for grid connected solar PV projects of 35 MW in Puducherry to June 28, 2016. The last date for submission of bids for 500 MW capacity in Odisha has been extended until July 5, 2016, and that for a 160 MW PV project in Uttar Pradesh is now July 6, 2016.
More details about the SECI announcement for the 50 MW Maharashtra project can be accessed here.