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SECI floats new manufacturing-linked solar tender

PW Bureau

SECI issued a new tender to set up 3 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity linked to 1.5 GW manufacturing capacity New Delhi: After a previous effort through a 10 GW auction fell flat, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has floated a manufacturing-linked solar tender with fewer obligations, along with smaller ticket size. The cap on tariffs, likely to be disputed again, played a spoilsport in several recent tenders. SECI, the agency tasked with implementing the national solar mission, issued a new tender to set up 3 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity linked to 1.5 GW manufacturing capacity.

No changes to tender

While developers considered the tender format inherently flawed, there are no changes to it. Companies will be needed to venture into both manufacturing and project development, an idea that has been repulsive to the industry.

Reserve price of tenders

Officials aware of the contours of the tender say the reserve price for tenders will not be done away with. “We are not sure what the reserve price will be, but it will be spelt out in the tender. It’s better to have a ceiling instead of having to eventually cancel the tender after reverse auctions, like what happened in Gujarat,” a SECI official said on condition of anonymity. A 700-MW solar tender floated by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd was cancelled earlier this week since the authorities found the tariffs, quoted in the range of 2.84-2.89 per unit, to be very high. “Nobody wants to invest in wafers and ingots because the technology changes really fast. The previous tender did not work because it required equipment to be manufactured across the value chain. For this tender, companies will be required to manufacture only cells and modules,” the official said.