Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids for selecting developers for supplying 1,000 megawatts (MW) of firm and dispatchable power from ISTS-connected Renewable Energy (RE) projects in India.

The successful bidders will be decided through the Tariff-based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) mechanism.

The State-controlled agency has floated a Request for Selection (RfS) inviting proposals for the setting up of ISTS-connected renewable energy (RE) projects for the supply of 1,000 MW of firm and dispatchable RE (FDRE) power — in a demand following manner — from ISTS-connected RE projects.

The project should be on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis and the SECI will enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the successful bidders based on this RfS for the purchase of power for 25 years.

A pre-bid meeting will be held on December 11, 2023, and the last date for submitting the bids is January 9, 2024.

Power project

The power procured by SECI has been provisioned to be sold to the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL), which shall be the buying entity.

SECI will be an intermediary nodal agency for the procurement and sale of such power to the buying entity entirely on back-to-back basis, based on due performance by the RE Power Developer (RPD) as well as the buying entity.

Bidders who have already commissioned RE and/or storage projects, or are in process of constructing such projects, and have untied capacity can also participate. In such a case, they will be given the benefit of a longer period of PPA, commensurate with the duration between the actual date of commencement of power supply and Scheduled Commencement of Supply Date (SCSD).

A bidder can submit a single bid offering a minimum quantum of cumulative contracted capacity of 50 MW and a maximum quantum of 500 MW.

Rationale

SECI explained that the rapid growth of renewable energy (RE) witnessed in the past decade has led to innovative solutions being designed, with increasing focus on increasing dependency on RE power for meeting the daily demand of Discoms.

With the advancement in energy storage technologies, coupled with downward trend of energy storage costs, the RE sector offers a unique opportunity to offer firm and dispatchable power supply to Discoms, on a demand-following basis, through 100 per cent supply of RE power.

FDRE power will aid in scaling up of renewable capacity addition as well as help in achieving economies of scale. It will also facilitate fulfilment of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) requirements of the obligated entities.

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