National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has finally released another tender for 1 GW of solar power under the CPSU program. This comes barely a week after the rfs request for 1 GW a week ago. The program was designed specifically to encourage domestic manufacturing, hence, all the supplies will need to be sourced domestically by winning bidders in the tender, or the domestic content requirement (DCR) as it is called. The CPSU program, by offering exposure to central public sector undertakings is considered a very high quality opportunity, and consequently, bids have come in on the lower range of prices so far.
The bid submission deadline is July 15, 2019. Thus, this follows the July 2 deadline for the earlier 2 GW tender from SECI.
The CPSU Solar program was proposed by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) last year. CPSU’s under this will have four years from 2019-2020 to 2022-23, to set up 12,000 MW of solar power projects across the country through producers. Usage charges have been capped at ₹3.50/kWh and will be exclusive of any other third-party charge such as wheeling, transmission charges and losses, and the likes. With the domestic content requirements, it was widely welcomed as a program that would support and encourage domestic production. 12 GW of solar projects capacity has been targeted under the program, with an option to do it on their own or through discoms. There is a provision for viability gap funding, besides the mandatory domestically manufactured solar cells and modules. It is expected that MNRE will include wafers, ingots, and polysilicon manufactured in India to the list at some stage.
In the current tender from NTPC, minimum bid size is at 50 MW with a cap of 300 MW. As usual, the scope of work includes the design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, packing, and forwarding, transportation, unloading, storage, installation, and commissioning of the solar PV projects. Following the precedence set from the Phase one projects, winning bidders will need to provide operation and maintenance services for three years. Bid security for the 50 MW bid is set at ₹20 million for 60 MW to 100 MW, ₹50 million, for 110 MW to 200 MW, ₹100 million and finally, for 210 MW to 300 MW, ₹200 million.
With this tender, 3 GW of solar PV projects have been tendered under the CPSU program’s second phase. Back in March 2019, it was Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) that had issued a Request for Selection (RfS) for the setting up of 2,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV power projects under tranche-I of CPSU program phase-II.