India’s first solar manufacturing tender with linked power plant has received bids after a delay of close to two years and a dozen extensions. In the latest tender floated by the Centre with several modifications, three companies submitted their bids. The government invited bids for 2,000 Mw of solar manufacturing and 6,000 Mw of linked solar power plant, which the industry oversubscribed.
Adani Green Energy Limited submitted bid for 1,000 Mw manufacturing and 4,000 Mw of power plants, Azure Power submitted for 500 Mw of manufacturing and 2,000 Mw of power plants. New entrant Navyug Power submitted a bid similar to Azure. Financial bids would open in a few weeks. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) under the aegis of the ministry of new and renewable energy floated the tender.
The success of the tender comes after the Centre relaxed the norms for bidding. Hoping to attract more investor interest, the tariff cap was set at Rs 2.75 per kwh (unit). The government increased the capacity of the tender with 500 Mw of manufacturing unit with power generation plant of 1,500 Mw. A total of four such projects were put under the bidding process. A company can bid for one or all four.
In an interesting amendment introduced in the new bid document, the Centre also allowed using imported solar modules for the power plant and not necessarily to be sourced from the manufacturing unit set up by the company. Earlier it was mandatory.
Another addition in the tender is regarding the manufacturing wherein the companies can submit bid for setting up manufacturing of ingots and wafers as well as solar cells and modules. Ingots and wafers are key component in the making of solar cells. Module is a collection of solar cells and panels are the single power producing unit.
After several extensions due to lack of interest, the Central government in January this year 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 with Waaree Energies. The government re-issued the tender in March and October which was also extended again.