Despite being one of the largest states in India, Maharashtra has fared poorly compared to smaller states in terms of setting up large-scale solar power projects. Now, the state is looking to significantly increase the installed solar power capacity in a short period.
Maharashtra’s power minister recently announced that 3.2 gigawatts of solar power capacity will be installed in the state over the next two years. While the minister is not believed to have given any further details regarding this plan, the currently open and recently issued tenders by the state are likely to aid in achievement of this target.
A tender to set up 1.4 gigawatts across across 30 locations in the state is currently open. The tender was issued by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). Projects of 50 megawatts of capacity each would be set up at 26 identified locations, while four other locations shall see 25 megawatt projects installed.
The maximum tariff bid limit for the tender has been set at Rs 3.10/kWh (4.35¢/kWh). A developer can bid for a maximum capacity of 300 megawatts across multiple locations in this tender.
MSEDCL recently closed bids for 1 gigawatt tender, and results could be announced soon. Terms and conditions of this tender are similar to the tenders being issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Developers would be able to choose the location of the projects, and can even set up projects outside the state of Maharashtra. The maximum tariff bid limit for this tender has been set at Rs 2.80/kWh (3.93¢/kWh).
A tender calling for bids of 1 gigawatt of floating solar capacity to be installed at the Ujjani dam in south-west Maharashtra is also currently open. Ten blocks of 100 megawatts have been offered to project developers in this tender. This is among the largest tenders for floating solar power projects in India. Maximum tariff bid for this tender has been set at Rs 3.00/kWh (4.21¢/kWh). Results of this tender could be out by next month.
Maharashtra plans to have an installed solar power capacity of 7.5 gigawatts, wind power capacity of 5 gigawatts, and biomass-based capacity of 1 gigawatts by 2020. However, as per the Renewable Purchase Obligation trajectory set by the central government Maharashtra should have an installed solar power capacity of 12 gigawatt, wind power capacity of 7.6 gigawatts, and 2.5 gigawatts of biomass-based power capacity by March 2022.
At present, Maharashtra hosts 1.3 gigawatts of solar and 4.7 gigawatts of wind power capacity.