The New Delhi Headquartered International Solar Alliance (ISA), which finally started on its massive 1000 W mandate recently with the 270,000 plus solar water pump tender (through EESL), continues to lay the groundwork for its next phase of work. After the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) submitted a proposal to approve it as a consultant formally to execute projects across its member countries.
The ISA has moved to invite all firms in its member countries who have a record of having installed 250MW or more of solar projects, to make an application to get themselves ’empanelled’ too. The move assumes significance as the number of projects that should be coming up soon could be sizeable, considering the success ISA has been having with tying up funding partners, new members as well as the high support from its founding members, notably India.
For India based firms, bettering NTPC’s offer, made under the ISA’s “Swiss Challenge” program could be tough to beat. NTPC has proposed reaching out to energy ministers, preparing power purchase agreements, detailed project reports, and providing project management consultancy services for projects with capacity more than 100 kW. With a schedule of costs that it would charge, with consultancy fees pegged at between 5% to 10% of project costs based project size.
With NTPC’s experience as a full stack project developer, it should be interesting to see the list expand in the coming months. June 22, 2019, is the last date for submission of proposals from other aspiring vendors.
A key advantage with ISA projects in India might be the certitude of funding, thanks to the quality backing as well as support it has from the government. Recently, the government had issued a letter stating that investments from the International Solar Association will no longer be treated as a foreign source of funding, in effect giving ISA the status of a domestic entity, helping avoid obstacle course that funding under the dreaded FCRA( Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) has become. This move has brought the ISA at par with other select organisations, notably the United Nations agencies when it comes to the ISA.