Andhra Pradesh invites bids for 500 MW solar projects

No provision for domestic content requirement in projects, which would make it obligatory for developers to source equipment locally

 
By Aruna Kumarankandath
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

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The Andhra Pradesh government has invited proposals for solar power projects worth 500 MW through the route of competitive bidding. The last date of submission of bids is September 17.

The offer document for the projects, issued by Southern Power Distribution Company Limited of Andhra Pradesh (APSPDCL) and Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited of Andhra Pradesh (APEPDCL), is technology neutral. 

Crystalline silicon or thin film or concentrated photovoltaic, with or without trackers, can be installed. A company can submit proposals for any number of projects in various districts subject to maximum aggregate capacity of 100 MW. The bidding would be decided on quoted tariff where the benchmark is based on the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (CERC) Renewable Energy Tariff Regulations. The offer does not have any domestic content requirement.

Ajay Jain, secretary in charge of energy department of Andhra Pradesh government, said the main feature is providing single window clearance for the new projects and also providing an escalation clause of 3 per cent every year for 10 years for the tariff quoted.  Last time around, in April 2013, the state had invited bids with a benchmark tariff of Rs 6.50 per unit but no allocation was made. 

There is no provision for local content requirement in the offer. This is despite the fact that Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) announced plans to construct a 1GW PV factory in Andhra Pradesh in March this year. Rajendra Nimje, managing director of SECI, said that focus is on manufacturing plants of modules and cells, and facilities for capacity building. 

In addition to the 500 MW bid offer, the state government announced allocation of land for three solar parks and a major manufacturing facility for the Defence Research and Development Organisation. P Raghunath Reddy, the state IT minister, said 500 acres (one acre equals 0.4 hectare) of land in P Kothapalli village in N P Kunta mandal of Anantapur district was set aside for a 100 MW solar farm, 1,000 MW mega solar park in Anantapur district and another 300 MW solar park in Guntur district. 

Andhra Pradesh has an installed capacity of 92.9 MW of solar power. If all the plans are successfully implemented it would make Andhra Pradesh the leading state for solar power in the country.

 

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