This is the fourth extension of the tender, for which the previous bid deadline was May 14. The new bid submission deadline is now May 31, with techno-commercial bids opening on the same day.
The 3 GW Inter-State Transmission System-Connected Solar PV Power Plant tender — which includes a requirement to set up 1.5 GW of annual solar production capacity — was first floated in January. SECI reissued it a month later with several amendments to the Request for Selection (RfS) document. It set a March 18 deadline, but then extended that to April 4 and again to April 22. Without any bidders after that, SECI later had no alternative but to extend the deadline once more to May 14.
SECI has attributed the lack of interest in the tender to the low capped tariff of Rs 2.75 per unit. However, the 3 GW tender is arguably a watered-down version of its much-hyped “world’s largest” 10 GW tender, which included a 5 GW manufacturing requirement. That exercise was the nation’s first solar tender in which developers were required to locally produce equipment to win projects.
But developers showed little interest in the 10 GW tender, with SECI receiving just one bid after six postponements. Azure Power bid for 2 GW of capacity, coupled with 600 MW of manufacturing output, but the government eventually cancelled it, citing dissatisfaction with the quoted tariff.
Industry watchers have attributed the lukewarm response to manufacturing-linked tenders to questions about the viability of domestic production. These concerns include a dearth of incentives, volume uncertainty, high interest rates and unacceptable capital costs.