Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited a bid for the selection of solar developers to install 10 MW solar power plant in Jaipur, Rajasthan. This is domestic competitive bidding. No foreign companies are eligible to participate in the bidding. Power will be sold to the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA).
A pre-bid meeting will be held on 22nd June at SECI office in Delhi. The last date of bid submission for both online and offline is 24th July 2020 by 3 P.M. On the same day at 4 P.M the techno-commercial bid will be opened. While the date of the e-reverse auction is yet to be announced SECI will intimate the same to the bidders later on.
The upper cap on the solar tariff has been set to INR 3.20 per unit for 25 years. The minimum capacity of the project will be 10 MW at a single location. Bidders can, however, break the project into blocks of minimum capacity of 5 MW to set up the project on multiple locations. They will also have to quote a single tariff for both the blocks. The solar developers will have to set up and maintain the transmission network up to the delivery point.
For solar energy generation, the project developers will have to declare an annual Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) not less than 21%. The declared CUF will be within +10% to -15% till the end of 10 years from COD provided the annual CUF remains a minimum of 18%. For the remaining duration of the PPA, the declared CUF will be within 10% to -20%.
Unlike other competitive biddings of SECI, the cap on the tariff is too high. One reason could be is that the project size is too small- just 10MW- to provide a developer the economy of scale. Further the nodal agency has allowed only domestic players to participate in the solar competitive bidding. Due to the ongoing pandemic situation the supply chain of components is already hit and the relations with China in all areas are at all-time low. To depend on foreign companies for solar power components may cause time overrun for many developers. The players might therefore bank on domestic manufacturers who can ensure a timely supply of components.
Conservative lending and high capital cost will also keep the tariffs on the higher side. Still if the players are able to manage their fund at a competitive rates it can help them offset the higher cost to some extent. Our estimation is that the tariff will be in a range of INR 2.70-3 per unit. Players with vertical integration strategy will be able to quote the best tariff.