The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids to set up grid-connected solar projects for an aggregate capacity of 1.5 GW under Phase-II (Tranche-II) of Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme.
The scheme provides viability gap funding (VGF) support for state-run power generators to set up 12 GW of grid-connected solar PV power projects using domestically-made equipment. The capacity is to be added in 4 years period from financial year 2019-20 to 2022-23.
The tendered 1.5 GW projects shall be awarded through e-bidding followed by reverse auction. These may be implemented as ground-mounted, rooftop-mounted, floating, canal top/canal bank or a combination thereof, as per the requirements of the solar power developer.
Developers can compete for projects anywhere from 1 MW in size to whole of the 1.5 GW capacity.
Power generated from these projects shall be solely for self-use or use by government entities, either directly or through Discoms on payment of mutually agreed usages charges of not more than Rs 3.50/kWh, which shall be exclusive of any other third-party charges.
Domestic content requirement
Both the solar cells and modules used in the solar power projects must be made in India as per specifications and testing requirements fixed by MNRE. In case of crystalline silicon technology, all process steps and quality control measures involved in the manufacture of the solar cells and modules starting from wafers till final assembly shall be performed at the works of PV manufacturers in India.
The maximum permissible limit for VGF is kept at Rs 0.70 crore/MW. However, the actual amount to be given to a government producer would be decided through bidding using VGF amount as the bid parameter to select the solar power developer.
VGF will be released to two tranches: 50% on award of contract to the EPC contractor and balance 50% on successful commissioning of the full capacity of the project.
The project must be commissioned within 24 months from the date of Letter of Award.
In case of commissioning delays up to six months, as penalty the amount of VGF to be sanctioned to the project shall be reduced by 0.15%, on per day basis, for the period of such delay, and proportionate to the capacity delayed or not commissioned.
In case commissioning is delayed beyond that, the project capacity under the scheme shall be reduced to the project capacity commissioned, and the balance capacity will stand terminated from the scheme and will remain ineligible for the second tranche of the VGF sanctioned to the solar power developer.