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India revises solar manufacturing tender specs to attract investors

Wafers, cells, modules manufacturing & imported panels for power plant allowed

Shreya Jai  |  New Delhi 

Solar Power
Solar Power

More than a year and 10 extensions later, the Union government has revised the tender specifications for the first solar manufacturing-linked power plant project in the country.

Hoping to attract more investor interest, the tariff cap has been set at Rs 2.75/unit.

Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) on Tuesday issued a request for a selection (RfS) notice for selecting solar power developers.

This will be for setting up 6 GW (per annum) of solar power plants linked to 2 GW of solar manufacturing plant.

A bidder can quote any capacity up to 1.5 GW of linked to 0.5 GW of solar manufacturing capacity, corresponding to one project.

A total of four such projects have been put up for bidding. A company can bid for one or all four.

In an interesting amendment introduced in the new RfS, SECI has allowed using imported solar modules at the power plant and not necessarily the ones manufactured at the linked unit set up by the company. Earlier, this was mandatory.

“The solar power developers or SPDs would be allowed to set up a solar power plant parallelly with a manufacturing facility, that is, the mandatory requirement of using self-produced modules in the plants under this scheme will not be there. This can be set up either through imported modules or through modules made by the manufacturing unit being set up by the bidder or through any other domestic module,” said the RfS document reviewed by Business Standard.

Another addition in the tender is regarding manufacturing, wherein the companies can submit a bid for setting up manufacturing units for ingots and wafers as well as solar cells and modules.

Ingots and wafers are key components in the making of solar cells. The module is a collection of solar cells and panels are the single power producing unit.

The tender, however, has not included the long-awaited demand of the industry to include the existing solar manufacturing units.

“As this scheme calls for setting up solar manufacturing plants in India, commissioned manufacturing plants cannot be considered under this RfS. However, expansion of the existing manufacturing facilities can be done anywhere in India,” said the RfS.

After several extensions, the Central government, in January, decided to cancel the lone bid that came for setting up solar panel manufacturing along with a solar power plant.

The single bid came from Azure Power in tie-up with Waaree Energies. The government re-issued the tender in March and it was also extended again. The latest global tender closes in August 2019.

First Published: Wed, June 26 2019. 17:39 IST
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