SECI’s 1200 MW ISTS Connected Solar Tender For Karnataka Is Out

Highlights :

  • Large Solar projects return to Karnataka after a gap through SECI, with this tender
  • Bidding will be aggressive, considering the state of the market right now and recent closed auctions.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has finally floated the much awaited 1,200 MW ISTS-connected  (Interstate transmission system) solar tender for (Tranche X) in Karnataka. A large tender for Karnataka comes after a significant gap, considering the high penetration of renewable energy in the state already.

The last date to submit bids is Friday, September 3, 2021, and bids will be opened on September 8. The pre-bid meeting will take place on July 26. The standard 25 year PPA with SECI comes with the projects for the winning bids.

The tender specifies that a single bidder can bid for a minimum capacity of 50 MW and a maximum of 1,200 MW. The projects should be quoted in multiples of 10 MW only. Developers wishing to set up multiple projects, would need to ensure that the projects are  physically identifiable with separate injection points and metering arrangements.

Earnest money deposit (EMD) has been set at Rs 400,000 while the performance bank guarantee of Rs 800,000 /MW for successful bidders will need to be deposited at least seven days before signing the power purchase agreement (PPA) with SECI. Both are lower than those specified in bids till last year.

As a state with a well established base of renewable energy projects including solar, the onus of land identification, , installation, and ownership of the project, along with obtaining connectivity, long-term access, and necessary approvals and interconnection with the ISTS network for supply of power to SECI will be the responsibility of the solar power developer.

However, state agency Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL) will facilitate land acquisition on a sub-lease basis. KSPDCL will start leasing land and sign agreements with farmers at Rs 25,000 with 5 percent escalation every two years. In yet another sign of the increased efficiency expected from new projects,  total land provided per MW will be 4 acres, instead of the 5 acre benchmark that was the rule till mid-2020. In any case, the declared annual CUF cannot be less than 17 percent.

A maximum capacity of 600 MW will be awarded for injection at ISTS substations in Gadag and Koppal districts under this tender.

To participate in the bidding process, the bidder’s net worth should be at least Rs 80 lacs /MW of the quoted capacity as on the last day of the previous financial year.  An approval letter from lending institutions for a line of credit for at least Rs 10.3 lacs /MW of the quoted capacity for working capital will be needed too.

Considering the current state of the market, and SECI’s backing here, it seems safe to expect winning bids that will beat the recent RUMSL bids comfortably.

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