NHPC Issues 2 Solar Power Tenders For 100 MW And 500 Mw In Tamil Nadu

Highlights :

  • The tenders for 600 MW mark a strong return to Tamil Nadu of large solar projects.
  • For NHPC, solar is taking it to new states where it had no presence earlier.

Stepping up the pace after its 100 MW floating solar tender early this week, NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) has issued two tenders, for a 100 MW and a 500 MW solar project. Both projects are to be located in Tamil Nadu. With these, the pace of solar development returns to Tamil Nadu, after a period of relative quite.

Both the tenders come with an O&M provision of 10 years, following the standard PSU rulebook. NHPC has set itself a target of almost 4 GW of solar projects by 2024 going by past announcements, and these projects seem very well to be a push to get close to those numbers. The company already has projects worth 2000 MW with ISTS connectivity under implementation, after awarding them last year. It’s floating solar tender for Odisha was also announced recently.

For these two Tamil Nadu solar tenders, the last date for submissions is October 11 (100 MW) and October 8 respectively for the 500 Mw option. As a profitable PSU, it will hope to get some strong bids for these tenders no doubt.

While the minimum average turnover requirement for the both the tendered projects is Rs 700 crores. For the 500 Mw tender, bidding is allowed in multiples of 100 MW each.

Interestingly, while asking for a clear commitment for at least 50 percent of the land required for the project/s, NHPC is assuming requirements at 4.5 acres per MW. One hopes to see this figure come down to 4 acres or less in coming months, as the use of more efficient modules takes root in India too.

The ramp up of tenders from NHPC clearly indicates a new dominance of PSU’s when it comes to fresh capacity creation. This is something that was on the cards for a while, as we had covered back in January this year. With NTPC doubling its own target to 2032, it should be interesting to see how the plans of the remaining PSU’s, be it Coal India, SJVN, NLC, GAIL and more, that have also committed to add solar capacity, pan out.

The flurry of new tenders indicates a strong revival for the sector, after a poor 2019-20 and even 2020-21.  2021 is already promising close to 8 GW of actual capacity additions, and the momentum of the new tenders, as well as the projects stuck in implementation indicates we might well see a new capacity creation record next year. Of course, each year will have to deliver a fresh high for India to met its 280 GW solar targets for 2030.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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