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India Floats 2 Gigawatt Solar Power Tender

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has issued a 2 gigawatt solar power tender. 

SECI has offered project developers the opportunity to develop solar power projects equivalent to 2 gigawatts of capacity across the country. The projects may be set up in any part of the country and connected to the inter-state transmission system. 

The projects shall be allocated on build-own-operate basis with developers required to sell power for 25 years. 

Developers can submit bids for setting up at least 50 megawatts capacity and up to 2,000 megawatts. All projects must be commissioned within 18 months of being awarded. 

Standalone solar power tenders have become increasingly rare over the last few years. Solar power tenders typically yield the cheapest power to state distribution companies. However, large states where renewable energy consumption is already very high are less interested in buying standalone solar power anymore. 

Over the last few years, SECI and several state distribution utilities have issued solar-wind hybrid, solar-storage, or solar-wind-storage tenders. Power distribution utilities are looking for greater visibility in renewable energy supply. 

SECI has issued this fresh tender only days after the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced a one year moratorium on the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers for use of solar modules. Project developers could only use solar modules listed under ALMM only. The list does not include any foreign manufacturers which have been the preferred source of modules for almost all developers. The relief provided by the ministry is expected to attract developers to new tenders. 

With economic recovery power demand in the country is also increasing rapidly. Hence, some states may be expected to show interest in buying more solar power, the cheapest source available, in order to meet their increasing power demand. 

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