SECI, now for the fifth time has extended the bid-submission deadline for its 1.2 GW of ISTS-connected wind and solar hybrid projects tender. These, and a spate of recent cancellations and other extensions could signal a special effort soon that will be needed to get things on the fast track again.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the bid-submission deadline for its tender for development of 1.2 GW of interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected wind and solar hybrid projects for the fifth time.
This is the fifth such extension for this hybrid project tender. The projects initial deadline for bid-submissions was set on August 8th, but due to insufficient quotes and interest it had to be extended to September 7th, then again to September 20th. After which it was again extended to October 5.
Earlier this month, SECI extended the RfS (Request for Submission) documents which saw the tender capacity being dropped from 2.5 GW to 1.2 GW after which the deadline was once again extended to October 26th, 2018. The new bid-submission deadline has been set to November 14th, 2018. The deadline had to be extended again since there were very few responses, due to which SECI had no option but to extend the deadline.
The nodal agency for renewable projects tendering in the country had initially tendered with an ambitious 2,500 MW of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power projects (tranche-I). Later, the capacity of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power project was reduced to 1,200 MW and the ceiling tariff was reduced from Rs 2.93/kWh to Rs 2.60/kWh. The maximum bid capacity has been increased from 500 MW to 600 MW. However, the minimum bid capacity remains the same at 200 MW with at least 50 MW of project capacity being proposed at each project site. Earlier, the scheduled date of commissioning was 18 months from the date of issuance of letter of award. This has been amended and now the scheduled date of commissioning would be 18 months from the effective date of the PPA. Financial closure must be achieved within 12 months of PPA.
SECI has also struggled to close its other hybrid project tender, the 160 MW Wind-Solar with BESS at Ramagiri, Andhra Pradesh. The bid-submission deadline for the project was recently extended from October 10th to November 2nd, a second extension for the tender.
SECI, has also more recently extended the deadline for its 750 MW solar capacity tender in Rajasthan. Indicating that the problem in closing bids extends beyond hybrid projects. The bid-submission deadline for the tender has been set to November 2nd, 2018.
In August, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued a notice with the amendments in the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. The changes were made to remove the word ‘battery’ from the relevant clauses of the policy in order to broaden the definition of the term “storage” and facilitate the growth of the sector.