The Solar Energy Corporation of India recently issued its first tender for round-the-clock renewable energy supply. This opens a major new avenue in India’s rapidly evolving renewable energy sector.
SECI has offered 400 megawatts of capacity to project developers under this tender. The minimum capacity developers can bid for is 200 megawatts, while the maximum is the entire 400 megawatts. No tariff threshold has been specified.
Developers are required to quote tariffs for the first year of operation. The tariff will be increased at 4% every year for 15 years after which the tariff shall remain stable. Developers are free to choose the storage capacity of their choice.
Among the most important features of this tender is that the buyers of the generated energy have already been identified. Federally administered regions of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), located inside India’s capital city, will buy the power generated from these projects.
The two regions are very small in area; while NDMC is believed to have a peak demand of around 400 megawatts, Dadra and Nagar Haveli reported a peak demand of just over 800 megawatts last year. Projects awarded under this tender would likely supply sufficient energy to meet a large majority, if not the entire power demand, in these regions on most days of the year.
There are several other small states and regions in India with limited power demand that can theoretically be managed by efficiently dispatched renewable energy. Chandigarh, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep Islands are some of the other federally administered regions which could utilize similar arrangements of round-the-clock renewable energy supply. Tenders for storage-equipped solar power projects have already been issued for Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands.
SECI issued a large storage tender in August. The agency offered 1.2 gigawatts of wind or solar or wind-solar hybrid capacity to developers. As per tender conditions, developers shall be required to supply 300 megawatt-hours per 100 megawatts of installed capacity during specified periods of high demand.