SECI’s 2 GW Solar Tender Oversubscribed; Another 18.2 GW Capacity in Pipeline till July

In the wake of the overwhelming response from solar project developers, state-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI’s) tender for 2 GW of Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected solar photovoltaic (PV) project under tranche IX has been over-subscribed by about 2.35 GW, as per the research and advisory services provider firm.

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According to the report of JMK Research and Analytics, a total of twelve solar project developers have been responded for the said tender and SECI has received bids for an aggregate 4,350 MW of solar capacity. These 12 solar developers are ReNew Power, Tata Power, NTPC, Eden, O2 Power, Azure, Ayana, IB Vogt, NLC, AMP Solar including some new names which were not active in past few tenders like SolarPack and ENEL.

Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI)

Moreover, both NTPC and NLC are two central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) that are continuously building their solar capacity and are now actively participating across all major tenders.

However, the tender bid submission deadline got extended till June 22, 2020, amid lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. Besides, the minimum CUF condition for this tender is 17 per cent and commissioning timeline is 18 months.

Significantly, this is the first major tender by SECI where bid submission has been conducted after almost time duration of 4 months due to coronavirus lockdown. Also, this is the first tender post the MNRE announced the removal of ceiling tariff for wind and solar energy tenders, as analyzed by the research firm.

Additionally, there are about 18.2 GW of SECI tenders where the bid submission date is scheduled till July 31, 2020, said JMK.

On the other hand, July month is critical for solar project developers as there are chances of the imposition of proposed 20 per cent Basic Custom Duty (BCD) on imported solar modules before the safeguard duty lapsed in July 2020 on the back of ongoing China border tensions.

Earlier, this BCD was expected to be implemented starting from 10 per cent in initial years to gradually to 20 per cent, the report added.

Meanwhile, the move is expected to increase the solar project costs as module prices will increase after implementation of BCD on imports. However, for projects where auctions are already completed before the notification of BCD, these projects will be protected under the ‘grandfathering’ clause.

Earlier in July 2018, safeguard duty was implemented by the government with an aim to protect domestic solar manufacturing. Now, this is going to be wrapped up in July 2020. In-line with this, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has already initiated a review investigation for considering continuance of safeguard duty on solar cells import in the country.

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Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.