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EoI for 500 MW solar power projects in September

According to reports, the government will float an expression of interest (EoI) in September for allocating 500 mw of solar power projects. This will be the second tranche of allocation in the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru New Solar Mission (JNNSM).

 JNNSM project monitor SP Gon Chaudhuri said the second tranche of allocation would have more stringent technical specifications than the earlier one. Only those players who have exposure to power business are expected to respond to the EoI.

In the first tranche, the government allocated 150 mw of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects early this year. Before that it allocated 50 mw of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects under the generation-based incentive scheme (GBIS), which was later on brought under JNNSM.

Chaudhuri said 27 mw, out of the 200 mw so far allocated, has already been commissioned and the rest has attained financial closure. The projects so far commissioned are in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The government has earmarked an expenditure of R330 crore for procuring power from the first tranche of projects. For procuring power from the second tranche, the government is yet to earmark any expenditure.

But a budgetary allocation of around R250 crore has already been made this year towards development of green energy, Chaudhuri said. “Following the EOI for 500 mw of allocation, the country could expect 250 mw solar photovoltaic generation by the end of the next year,” he said.

JNNSM was launched in January this year, envisioning 20,000 mw of solar photovoltaic generation by 2022. Chaudhuri said the government’s decision to allot projects in the second phase would depend on the progress of the first phase of allocation.

There has recently been a lot of confusion regarding the financial closure and there have been reports about the solar mission being delicately poised in India and the need for more props.

In late July this year, the WSJ reported that, India plans to call bids in August to set up about 300 megawatts of solar power plants as part of efforts to accelerate the development of renewable-energy projects. Debashish Majumdar, chairman of the state-run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, said  the 300 MW of projects are those remaining from the first phase of the national solar program.

 In early July, the PV magazine carried a story that said, the projects which didn’t achieve financial closure will be cancelled and that the capacity for the next batch of projects will be increased based on the size of the cancelled projects.

Sources indicate that it could be because of this that Mr. SP Gon Chaudhuri had indicated that 500MW could likely come up for bidding next month.

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