NTPC Limited has invited bids for 870 kW of rooftop solar projects to be set up at one of its generating stations in Uttar Pradesh. The project entails the supply and erection of grid-connected rooftop solar PV systems on the roof of NTPC’s Stage-2 TG hall in Vindhyachal. The scope of the work includes the design, manufacturing, supply, and commissioning of the projects on a turnkey basis. The tender specifies that the winning bidder must also operate and maintain the project for one year. Also, the interested bidders are expected to pay an earnest money deposit of Rs 500,000. The tender also states that bidders must have a turnover of at least Rs 35.6 million in the last three financial years. The last date for the submission of bids is December 27, 2019.
The pressure to meet policy targets and savings in electricity bills have been the key factors driving the uptake of rooftop solar systems in India. However, the growth has not been as impressive as envisaged by policymakers. The rooftop solar segment is facing the same challenges that plague the overall energy sector. These include bad financial health of discoms and their reluctance to promote rooftop solar, high electricity subsidies, and numerous state-wise regulations and restrictions on open access of electricity. Some of these challenges are now being addressed by the government to maximise the potential of the rooftop solar segment.
As of March 2019, India’s total installed rooftop solar capacity reached almost 3.7 GW. Among the states, Maharashtra is in the lead with 618 MW of rooftop installations, which account for 17 per cent of the total installations in the country. Rajasthan has also shown impressive growth over the past year in terms of installed capacity, from only 167 MW to 393 MW. The amendment to Rajasthan’s net metering regulations for rooftop and small solar systems was a key development as it provided an energy accounting and settlement mechanism and an exit option for consumers under the net metering system. Tamil Nadu is not far behind, with an installed rooftop solar capacity of over 365 MW, mainly in the industrial and commercial segments. With 314 MW of installed capacity, Gujarat continues to be in the fourth position.
Read more about the rooftop solar segment in our special story covered in the ninth anniversary issue: https://renewablewatch.in/2019/11/07/more-room-on-the-roof/