Even as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) recent tranche IX tender for 2 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar projects has been oversubscribed by 2.35 GW. The tender has attracted 12 bidders with a total capacity of 4.35 GW. ReNew Power, NTPC Limited and Tata Power Renewable Energy placed bids for the highest capacities. Other bidders included O2 Power, Eden Renewables, Azure Power, SolarPack, ENEL Green Power, Ayana Renewables, IB Vogt, NLC and AMP Solar. The tender was issued in March 2020 with a bid submission deadline of May 28, 2020 which was later extended to June 15, 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic.
In March 2020, SECI announced two tenders for 2 GW of solar and 2 GW of wind projects. The ISTS connected solar and wind power projects were both floated under tranche IX of the ISTS programme. These were the first set of tenders to be released by the MNRE after doing away with tariff ceilings. The scope of work for the 2 GW solar tender includes the acquisition of land, connectivity and long-term open access approvals by solar power developers. The minimum capacity utilisation factor for this tender is 17 per cent and commissioning timeline is 18 months.