The new tender seeks to set up 6 GW of solar plants, against 2 GW of manufacturing units.
After repeatedly postponing the last date for receiving bids for the manufacturing-linked solar scheme, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has tweaked its bidding requirements. The new tender seeks to set up 6 GW of solar plants, against 2 GW of manufacturing units.
However, similar to the preceding version, participating bidders cannot quote a tariff of more than Rs 2.75/unit.
The scheme was initially launched in 2018 to boost the domestic solar manufacturing industry, which was growing tepidly in spite of huge surge in solar generation capacity. About 88% of domestic module requirements were met through imports in FY18.
The latest tender makes it the third version of the scheme. The maiden model envisaged 3 GW of manufacturing units against 10 GW of new generating capacities. The second version wanted to install 3 GW of solar plants against 1.5 GW of new manufacturing units. Industry players had claimed that the scheme’s terms and conditions did not apportion the risks appropriately.
After tepid industry response, the SECI had earlier sweetened the terms and conditions of the scheme to attract more participation. The timeline for setting up manufacturing units was extended to 36 months, from 30 months mandated earlier. SECI had also allowed inter-state transmission charges to be waived if commissioning of solar generation units are delayed beyond FY22 due to unavailability of adequate transmission infrastructure.
The imposition of the safeguard duty in July last year on solar module imports from China and Malaysia and ‘developed countries’ did not seem to have helped local manufacturers much, with imports recording a 26% growth in the first 11 months of FY19.