SECI invites bids for 1,200 MW ISTS-connected photovoltaic (PV) projects in India

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has released a Request for Selection (RfS) to select solar energy developers to set up 1,200 MW ISTS-connected solar PV projects in India. This initiative, known as SECI-ISTS-XVI, invites bids from developers who have completed or are in the process of constructing solar photovoltaic projects and have free capacity. These developers will benefit from a longer Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) period, depending on the gap between the current start of power supply and the scheduled start date.

The deadline for the completion of the project is set at 24 months. Developers are required to submit a Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) or Contract Performance Guarantee in the amount of ?23,55,000 per MW. The deadline for submitting offers is July 16, 2024 and the opening of offers is scheduled for July 18, 2024.

The bidding process will follow a single-stage, two-envelope procedure; This competitive tender aims to select solar energy developers who will establish solar PV projects connected to ISTS and the necessary transmission network up to the point of interconnection, mainly to supply solar energy to SECI. The selection process will be technology agnostic and will focus on the deployment of solar photovoltaic technology.

According to this SoE, a bidder, together with its parent company, subsidiary, ultimate parent or any group company, must submit a single offer offering a minimum contracted capacity of 50 MW and a maximum of 600 MW. The total capacity allocated to a bidder, including its subsidiaries, will be capped at 600 MW.

Bidders must declare the annual capacity utilization factor (CUF) for their projects at the time of bid submission. They are allowed to review this CUF once within the first year after starting power. The revised CUF must be higher than the initially declared CUF. After the first review, the CUF will remain unchanged for the entire 25-year PPA term. The annual CUF declared or revised may not be less than 17%. Developers must maintain generation levels to achieve an annual CUF within +10% and -15% of the declared value for the first 10 years and within +10% and -20% for the remaining period of the PPA. However, cuts in the electricity supply due to force majeure will not be penalized.
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SECI will accept the partial start of the electricity supply, with a minimum capacity of 50 MW for each part, without altering the SCSD. The PPA will remain in force for the specified period, regardless of the dates of partial or complete start of energy supply. The SCSD for the full project capacity supply is 24 months from the effective date of the PPA. The maximum period allowed to start the electricity supply from the total capacity of the project, with applicable penalties, is up to six months from the SCSD.

Bidders are required to submit an earnest money deposit (EMD) of ?9,42,000 per MW per project in the form of bank guarantee. This guarantee must be valid for 12 months from the last date of submission of offers. If EMD is charged, it will include all applicable taxes. An Electronic Bank Guarantee (e-BG) is also acceptable for the EMD.

Successful bidders will be required to submit a PBG valued at ?23,55,000 per MW per project before signing the PPA. The PBG must be valid for 12 months after the SCSD of the project. Once the PBG is received and verified, the EMD bank guarantee will be returned to the successful bidder. The PPA will only be signed after successful verification of the PBG. Any deficiency in the validity of the PBG before signing the PPA must be rectified by extending its validity. This RfS aims to attract experienced solar power developers to contribute to India’s renewable energy capacity through competitive bidding, ensuring timely project completion and reliable power supply.