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Rajasthan’s solar mission delayed- Submission of RfS bid documents postponed till further notice

In February this year, the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission has lowered the tariffs for the purchase of electricity from solar power plants in the State by the state utility.

A solar power producer in the State who completes his project by March 31, 2014, will get Rs 10.12 a unit if he does not claim ‘accelerated depreciation’ and Rs 8.85 a unit, if he also claims accelerated depreciation.

Earlier, these figures were Rs 15.32 and Rs 13.19 a unit for projects that would be put up by March 31, 2012. These downward revisions were announced on January 23, barely 25 days ahead of the February 17 deadline for submitting bids.

Rajasthan had announced a fairly large programme, of 200 MW, equally divided between photo voltaic and thermal then.

Subsequently a top government official involved with the project said, the ambitious solar parks project modeled after the special economic zones would take off the ground as the state government had kick-starting the bidding process for power plants from February 17. The process of finalisation of bids, approval and allocation of land will be completed by June this year, he had added.

Later in February a senior official in the energy department had said that the tender process to install various solar plants of different capacities had already started. “The tender process has already started. These plants will be installed at places like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and other places in western Rajasthan,” said the official.

In a bid to promote solar power, a large number of solar power plants are being installed in the state. Under the project around 100 MW-capacity plant will be installed for small solar photovoltaic projects of 5 to 10 MW capacity. Besides this, two 50 MW capacity plants will also be installed. Under the project, 50 MW solar TV will be installed along with conventional power projects of the same capacity.

Last month it was reported that, India’s Rajasthan state will delay awarding contracts to companies to build 200 megawatts of solar capacity by about two months to August.

The last day to submit expressions of interest is May 18, M.M. Vijayvergia, executive director of the state-run Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corp., which is overseeing the process, said then in an interview in Jodhpur.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit bids and the process should be finished around August, he said, without giving a reason for the delay.

With the deadline for submission of  expression of interest being tomorrow, Panchabuta has learnt is that Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation has postponed the last date of submission of RfS bid documents indefinitely without giving any reasons.

A number of leading developers and EPC’s that Panchabuta spoke to have said that this is a big set back to Rajasthan’s ambitious plan and have expressed disappointment. A number of multilateral agencies and top consultants have been involved in drafting elaborate plans for the state-considered one of the most ideal in terms of radiation- to set up solar power projects. Further, this state was the chosen destination by a number of developers who had won projects under the National Solar Mission and one that has talked about an ambitious plans of setting up  gigawatt scale solar parks.

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