The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has received a “go ahead” from the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) for a 260 MW worth of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed in the state of Bihar.
The move builds on the diversification away from their traditional strengths, be it Hydro in case of NHPC, or thermal in case of NTPC. That solar is undoubtedly the first choice for any such move has been amply clear by the preference it has received, including from private sector majors.
As per reports, the government-run entity is currently planning to develop 260 MW of solar PV, which includes a 250 MW project in the Gaya district and a 10 MW project in the Khagaria district.
As of now, the officials are not commenting on the timeline of the project, claiming it to be the initial stages. But, they are confident to see development in the project in the coming two months.
The NHPC has further hinted that once the due diligence is complete, they will give the contract of the project to an engineering procurement construction (EPC) firm through reverse bidding.
Previously the NHPC commissioned a 50MW solar project in Theni and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu, in March 2018. Larsen & Toubro had won the contract to develop these 50 MW grid-connected solar projects in June 2017.
NHPC, it could be speculated, might have moved into Bihar simply because of relative lack of interest from private players in the state so far. To that extent, the performance and experience for NHPC will be tracked carefully by industry watchers, as they look at newer territories to ‘colonise’ with solar power. Bihar, of course, has been a laggard, along with UP and Bengal and Orissa to an extent, even as other so-called backward states like MP and Rajasthan have made huge strides.