• The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has come out with a 1,000 MW grid connected rooftop solar PV scheme for government buildings
  • Under the so-called CAPEX model, 600 MW capacity will be installed, while 400 MW will be set up under the so-called RESCO model
  • Bidders can bid for a maximum of 128 MW capacity in any or all of the three categories, namely Part A and Part C (CAPEX) and Part B (RESCO)
  • Successful bidders will get subsidies or incentives from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

As India’s government is trying hard to expand the solar rooftop market, it is bringing its efforts to the next level, leading by example – the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced a scheme for 1,000 MW grid connected rooftop solar PV capacity on government buildings.

The systems will be installed under the so-called CAPEX (600 MW) and RESCO (400 MW) models. Under the CAPEX model, the system will be owned by the rooftop owner, while the developer will be in charge of installing the system and providing operations and maintenance services for two years. As for the RESCO model, here the developer owns the solar power system. The bidder enters into a power purchase agreement with the government department to sell power to the latter for 25 years.

The solar capacity will be offered through competitive bidding. The bidders will have to offer design, engineering, manufacture, supply, storage, civil work, erection, testing and commissioning of the rooftop project. The selected company will also provide operations and maintenance of the project for 5 years for Part A and C (CAPEX model) and for 25 years under Part B (RESCO model).

Part A and C are divided as 400 MW and 200 MW capacity, respectively. Under Part A, project size needs to have a minimum aggregate capacity of 500 kW to a maximum of 40 MW. For Part C, the minimum capacity is 100 kW and the maximum is 8 MW. Under Part B, bidders can bid for a minimum of 1 MW to a maximum of 80 MW. Bidders have the freedom of bidding for any or all of the categories up to a maximum of 128 MW capacity.

These projects will be eligible for incentives or subsidies as provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) alone, and not by the state government. SECI will provide the list of rooftops of various government buildings.

The Government of India is aiming to install solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022, which is divided into 60 GW of large scale solar and 40 GW of rooftop capacity. However, the latter trails far behind large scale solar capacity as of now. As the government is aware of this, it has been pushing several initiatives to popularize rooftop solar, but so far it is primarily progressing on central or state-owned company buildings. Individual adoption of solar PV is not yet forthcoming in India. Recently the World Bank agreed to lend $625 million to support India’s solar rooftop segment (see World Bank Signs Loan Agreement With India).

Earlier this year, SECI allocated 42.75 MW of rooftop solar PV capacity to various bidders (see SECI Allocates 42.75 MW Of PV Rooftop Capacity). In July 2016, SECI received bid interest of 602 MW for its 500 MW capacity rooftop tender (see 602 MW Bids Received For SECI Rooftop Tender). In this tender, the CAPEX model received a lot of interest.