Bengal Tender for Empanelment Of Rooftop Agencies for 50 MW Solar On Residential Buildings

Highlights :

  • A 50 MW parcel for rooftop solar is a welcome development in Bengal, a state that has lagged big states on solar adoption.
  • After adding subsidies, residents in the state can look forward to some very competitive offerings, with payback in as little as 4-5 years possibly on their investment

The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) is seeking bids for the empanelment of agencies for the installation of 50 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects on residential buildings in West Bengal. The tender comes after a significant gap, with Bengal already one of the laggards on solar adoption. In fact, the state happens to have one of the dirtiest thermal energy, according to research from CSE. The state’s reluctance has been blamed on the abundant coal mined in the state, besides the power plants being run by the discoms in the state, especially CESC, which supplies to Kolkata.

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The deadline to submit the bids online for this rooftop tender is September 27, 2021, and bids will be opened on September 29. The pre-bid meeting is scheduled to be held on September 8. The MNRE has also recently notified benchmark rates for rooftop solar, so expect bids to come in well below that.

Bidders are required to pay earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs. 2,00,000. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been exempted from paying the EMD.

The successful bidder will have to submit an amount of 10% of the contract value for five years and one month as the performance bank guarantee within 15 days from the completion of the project. They will also have to provide maintenance activities for the projects for one year.

The tender document states that bidders will be empaneled under two categories of bidders (Category-A and Category-B).

Under Category-A, the bidder must have installed a minimum of 200 kW capacity of grid-connected rooftop solar projects in the residential sector before the bid submission date. Or, the bidder must have installed and commissioned a 1 MW capacity of any grid-connected systems in any sector, including residential, industrial, government, or other such programs. New entrepreneurs who not covered under Category A will be accounted for under Category B.

Additionally, Category-A bidders must have an average turnover of Rs. 15 million per year during the last three financial years. Category-B bidders must have an average turnover of Rs. 1.5 million per year during the last three financial years. Bidders must have a positive net worth in the last three financial years.

Out of the total approved capacity of 50 MW, 35 MW has been reserved for Category A and 15 MW for Category B.

While the empaneled agency under Category-A will be required to pay a security deposit of Rs. 1.5 million within 15 days of the letter of intent (LOI) for empanelment to WBSEDCL, empaneled agencies under Category-Bwill have to pay a security deposit of Rs. 5,00,000 within 15 days of the LOI for empanelment.

The tender document also states that the solar modules and cells to be used for the project should be made in India as per the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) requirements. That in effect means they will need to be ALMM compliant.

A similar tender recently in Kerela saw Tata Power being empaneled for 84 MW of rooftop solar projects.

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