Jharkhand reissues 2 MW canal solar tender after six-month interval

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After attracting only one bidder for a 2 MW, grid-connected canal solar project auction that closed in February, the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) has reissued the tender.

The estimated Rs15.06 crore contract will include design, engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning of the project on the canal at Sikidiri village, as well as operations and maintenance for a decade.

No maximum price has been set for the energy generated by the project and the successful developer will have six months to complete installation.

Interested developers have until September 11 to register bids.

JREDA said the second attempt to attract bidders had been delayed by national elections in April and May. The state agency was last week forced to extend a deadline for bidders to manage installation of 11,000 solar street lights. The deadline for that tender – for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the lights as well as a five-year maintenance contract – was put back from last Monday until September 4.

Solar struggles

“There are several factors affecting the slow progress of solar energy in the state, with low-grading of grids, bad financial health of discoms [electricity distribution companies] and lack of, or delays in financing, being the biggest hurdles,” said Nilesh Kumar, project director of the agency’s project management unit.

The integrated ratings issued by the Ministry of Power last year gave Jharkhand a C grade – the lowest mark – for the performance of its power distribution company. In the ratings, prepared annually by the ministry to assess the performance of discoms, Jharkhand was listed 34th of the 41 companies assessed across 22 states and scored only 20% based on distribution performance, financial health, regulation and reforms.

The state’s solar policy targets 2.65 GW of installed generation capacity by next year but is well short of that goal with just 38 MW in place, split evenly between utility scale and rooftop solar.

A joint report by the Center for Environment and the Energy Department at the Central University of Jharkhand and JREDA, stated the towns of Ranchi and Jamshedpur could see 1 GW of installed solar capacity and attract investment of up to $52 million (Rs 374.5 crore).