Ten firms to set up solar energy projects in 6 months in Karnataka

A total of 10 companies plan to set up solar power projects in the State under the Karnataka Solar Mission over the next six months.

Of these, eight companies plan to set up solar photovoltaic projects for 60 MW, while two will set up concentrated solar thermal power projects of 10 MW each.

“Most projects will come up in North Karnataka,” Mr N.S. Prasanna Kumar, Managing Director of Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL), told Business Line. “KREDL will help in giving out government land on lease to companies that don’t have their own land,” he added.

Twenty-two companies had participated in the tender for setting up 80-MW solar thermal and solar photovoltaic projects called for by KREDL, the State nodal agency for promoting renewable energy. This was as part of Karnataka Solar Mission targeting 350 MW of solar projects by 2016. “The next round of tenders will be floated soon after the financial closure for all these projects is achieved. It could be about six months from now,” Mr Kumar said.

The projects are allocated under ‘reverse bidding’ process where projects will be allocated to bidders who have quoted the steepest discounts to the tariff of Rs 14.50 fixed by KREDL.

For photovoltaic plants, Helena Power Private Ltd and Jindal Aluminium Ltd have offered the highest discounts of 656 and 625 paise per unit and have been allotted 10 MW capacity each.

Sunborne Energy Services India and Atria Power Corporation will be setting up solar thermal plants, offering discounts of 41 and 3 paise per unit, respectively.
Delay in bids

The announcement of winners of the technical bids comes after a delay – almost three months after the bids for the projects closed on November 24, 2011. The delay in opening the bid documents was because the bidding process for the second batch of projects under the National Solar Mission was on.

KREDL has said that the allocations for the State policy would be made only after the National Solar Mission bids were closed. Meanwhile, following complaints by small time developers, the State Energy Department had issued a stay order on the process, which caused further delay.