• The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced that SECI has launched a rooftop PV tender of 1,000 MW capacity
  • The solar systems will be built on government ministries' department buildings
  • The Government is introducing a so-called Achievement-Linked Incentives Scheme, which means that ministries/departments will be incentivised by capital subsidies for achieving their targets in a stipulated time frame
  • Developers installing the capacity under the so-called RESCO model will be assured of timely payment and will also have access to loans from financial institutes

Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI), the implementing agency for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), has launched a tender for 1,000 MW of new rooftop solar power capacity. This is the largest rooftop tender that SECI has launched so far. The solar systems will be built on the rooftops of central government ministries and department buildings. The generated power will be used for captive consumption while the excess will be fed to the grid under net metering policy schemes of respective states. Tender details are available for download via SECI here

Bidders will be encouraged to apply through a competitive bidding process and provisions of one rate/state shall be maintained in the scheme. The capacity will be divided in so-called CAPEX and RESCO models – with a ratio of 30:70. The CAPEX model has the rooftop owner also owning the PV system, while the developer is only required to install the system and provide operations and maintenance services. In the RESCO model, the solar power developer owns the system and can then sell the clean energy generated to the rooftop owner for consumption.

Achievement-Linked Incentives Scheme
The 1,000 MW tender is unique in the sense that it introduces a so-called Achievement-Linked Incentives Scheme, which incentivises ministries/departments with a capital subsidy provided they achieve their committed targets in the given timespan. The rooftop PV systems will be installed with financial incentives coming from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Payment Security Mechanism
Another highlight of the scheme is the so-called Payment Security
Mechanism. Calling it a first in the history of rooftop programs, it will assure all rightful payment to solar power developers (SPD) in the RESCO model. According to the MNRE, “SECI has also tied up with Financial institutes (FIs) such as IREDA and SBI for disbursement of loans with Special Discount Packages to be offered by these institutions to the developers.”

SECI is supposed to provide a list of rooftops of various government buildings for the tender and is currently carrying out a potential assessment that will be shared with SPDs (see SECI Invites PV Rooftop Feasibility Studies). Back in August 2016, SECI had estimated the PV rooftop potential of the ministries allocated to over 1.1 GW, with the Human Resources Development Ministry buildings assumed to have the largest area suited for solar.

The MNRE has allocated 21 ministries and their departments to SECI, including Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. These ministries will be submitting Green Energy Commitment Certificates to the MNRE.

1 GW tender follows 500 MW tender
In August 2016, SECI had announced its plans for the 1,000 rooftop PV tender (see Solar For Indian Government Buildings). SECI had earlier this year tendered 500 MW capacity for the rooftop segment for solar power systems to come up on residential, institutional and social sectors (see Largest Indian Rooftop Tender). The 500 MW tender back then was oversubscribed – SECI received a total of 602 MW (see 602 MW Bids Received For SECI Rooftop Tender).

Clean energy research and communications firm Bridge to India had stated in October 2016 that at the end of September 2016, installed rooftop PV capacity in India crossed 1,000 MW (see India Crosses 1 GW PV Rooftop Capacity).