SECI revamps manufacturing-linked mega solar tender

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Having cancelled the earlier 1.5 GW manufacturing-linked 3 GW solar tender, the Solar Energy Corporation of India has floated a fresh tender with revised capacities and other modifications. Bids are now invited to set up 2 GW of annual solar manufacturing capacity linked to 6 GW of inter-state connected solar projects.

Under the tender, solar power developers will earn assured power purchase agreements (PPAs) for triple the solar manufacturing capacity that they commit to set up; i.e., 1500 MW against 500 MW of solar manufacturing capacity. Thus, the total solar plant capacity would be 6 GW for a manufacturing capacity of 2 GW.

However, unlike the previous tender which mandated bidding for a minimum of 1,000 MW solar project capacity against setting up of 500 MW manufacturing, the latest tender gives manufacturers the flexibility to bid for any solar project capacity from zero up to 1500 MW against the 500 MW manufacturing capacity committed.

A total of four projects (each comprising up to 1500 MW of solar projects capacity linked to 500 MW of solar manufacturing capacity) are under the bidding process. Developers are free to bid for all the four projects.

The manufacturing capacity is tendered under two packages: cells-and-modules and wafers-and-ingots. Under each package, two projects shall be awarded. Thus, there are four projects—one each for cells, modules, wafers and ingots—with each project having minimum annual production capacity corresponding to 500 MW of modules manufacturing. Bidders can quote separate tariffs for the solar projects against these capacities.

PPAs and commissioning

SECI shall sign PPAs with the successful bidders for a period of 25 years, which are required to set up cumulative annual solar manufacturing capacity of 2 GW, over a maximum period of two years from the effective date of PPAs.

The PPAs will be executed within 90 days from the date of Letter of Award. Further, the solar plant will be allowed staggered commissioning over a period up to March 31, 2022, with minimum 30% of the cumulative allocated capacity to be commissioned within first 18 months from the effective date of PPAs.