SECI Extends Deadline for Floating Solar At Getalsud Dam, Ranchi

Highlights :

  • The deadline extension is par for the course, as far as floating solar bids go, as the history of almost all floating solar projects has indicated.
  • The Getalsud dam project, like the Rihand dam floating solar project, has been floating around since 2018-19, and now, will hopefully see real progress with a stronger domestic ecosystem of suppliers.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the last date for submission of bids for the Design, Engineering, Supply, Construction, Erection, Testing & Commissioning of 100 MW (AC) Floating Solar PV Project having 10 years plant O&M at Getalsud Dam, Ranchi, Jharkhand. Like most large floating solar projects, plans for a plant at Getalsud dam have also been going around for some time, as far back as 2019 in fact.

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The deadline, originally set for April 30, 2022, now stands extended to May 31, 2022.

Floating solar projects have had a more arduous run in India so far, even as the domestic ecosystem develops to handle larger projects. Multiple large projects like the one on Rihand Dam reservoir have been stuck for a while, even as others have had to go through record number of  deadline extensions to find a bidder finally.

The Getalsud Dam project was approved by the Jharkhand state government in April 2021, and the bids were called only in February this year. SECI intends to get part of the project financing from the World Bank for the project.

One of the largest floating solar tenders, for 600 MW of floating solar on the Omkareshwar dam in Madhya Pradesh, is expected to be opened on May 6, when the final bidders and winners will be announced. In the interim, multiple smaller floating solar plants have been installed and commissioned, notably by NTPC, using domestic vendors, besides the prominent French specialist, Ciel et Terre.

Floating solar is seen as particularly important part of the solar piece in East India, where large tracts of barren or waste land for ground mounted plants is a huge challenge due to population density as well as quality of land that tends to be arable in most cases.

Thus, from Bengal to Odisha and now Jharkhand, large floating solar projects have been proposed to help the region’s states generate at least some part of their renewable purchase obligations through solar power within the states.

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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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