2019-03-05
SECI to Tender 1 GW of Solar Capacity to be Developed Across Eight North Eastern States

The Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI) has said it would soon issue a tender for 1,000 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to be developed in the states of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, and Assam. The ceiling tariff will be set at ₹3 (~$0.042)/kWh.

According to SECI, these solar PV projects will be developed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) Phase-II Batch-IV. The request for selection will be made available online on or after March 20, 2019.

When contacted, a SECI official told Mercom, “The finer details are being worked out and will be made public in the request for selection which will be issued in March 2019.

Executing these projects would be a tough ask in heavily forested areas. When asked if the implementing agency has broken down capacity to be set up in each of these states, the official said, “No, we haven’t done that. Considering the topography and the forested areas, we have left it upon the developers or bidders to decide where they want to set up what capacity.”

This tender will be governed by the viability gap funding (VGF) program guidelines, informed the SECI official. In January 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had received approval by the President of India for the implementation of a subset of the existing VGF program that includes developing 1,000 MW of solar projects in the northeastern states under JNNSM.

According to these guidelines, a ceiling tariff of ₹3 (~$0.042)/kWh, with a maximum VGF of ₹10 million (~$0.14 million)/ MW has been set for this tender. The minimum project capacity at a single location will be 5 MW.

Once this 1 GW of solar PV capacity is installed, it will help these states meet their renewable purchase obligation targets. In a report in January 2019, Mercom pointed out that Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura were the only states in northeastern India that had achieved a minimum 60 percent RPO compliance. The RPO compliance of Sikkim was 44.2 percent, Meghalaya was 30.9 percent, Tripura was 12.2 percent, Assam was 1.9 percent, Arunachal Pradesh was 0.6 percent, and Manipur was 0.1 percent.

Source- Mercom India