Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) has issued a tender for 940 kW of off-grid rooftop solar projects at various rural primary healthcare centers across the state. This capacity would comprise 188 projects, and the capacity of each will be 5 kW. According to APDCL, the estimated cost of the project is Rs 100,000. The scope of work includes the site survey, design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of the projects, including operations and maintenance services for five years. The deadline for the submission of bids is November 13, 2019 and the time allotted for the completion of work is six months.
The socio-economic relevance of 24×7 power supply to the country’s rural and underserved areas cannot be stressed enough. However, multiple cost and technology challenges have restricted the grid from reaching these areas. Renewable energy-based offgrid power systems, especially solar, have emerged as a sustainable alternative to the grid for myriad purposes including lighting, cooking, irrigation and heating.
The offgrid and decentralised solar applications programme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was introduced during the initial years of the National Solar Mission, with Phase I being implemented in 2012-13 and Phase II in 2013-17. In August 2018, the MNRE released guidelines for Phase III of the programme for the years 2018-19 and 2019-20. A total of 118 MW of offgrid and decentralised solar power projects have been envisaged under Phase III, with a financial outlay of Rs 6.5 billion spread over the two years. Of this, a target of 50 MW has been set for 2018-19, with an outlay of Rs 2.7 billion. For 2019-20, Rs 3.8 billion has been allocated to achieve a target of 68 MW capacity.