SECI floats tender for 1,000 MW rooftop solar capacity

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has floated a tender for development of 1,000 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar power capacity for central government ministries/departments.

This is the largest rooftop tender launched by SECI so far, and is expected to boost the hugely potent rooftop solar power generation segment in the country. The government has targeted installation of 40 GW rooftop solar power capacity by the year 2022.

The 1,000 MW tender, one of the largest globally, is a move to rapidly escalate rooftop solar capacity in the country, and comes in quick succession to SECI's earlier tender of 500 MW capacity, targeting buildings in the residential/institutional and social sectors, an official release stated.

SECI is the leading PSU in the rooftop solar segment, and has already commissioned over 54 MW capacity of rooftop solar projects under multiple government schemes.

The latest 1,000 MW tender is especially targeted at utilising the numerous buildings of the central government ministries / departments. The highlight of this tender is its innovative 'achievement-linked incentives scheme' wherein the incentives in terms of capital subsidy will be provided on the basis of performance achieved by designated ministries / departments against their committed targets in the given timespan.

In this scheme, the grid connected rooftop solar systems will be installed with the financial assistance for MNRE in the form of incentives. The power generated from the systems will be used for meeting the captive requirement of the buildings and the surplus power, if any, will be fed to the grid under the net-metering arrangement of the respective state.

Ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has allocated 21 ministries / departments to SECI inter alia the ministries of human resource development, finance, urban development, parliamentary affairs etc. The ministries have shown great enthusiasm and have assured their commitment with submission of Green Energy Commitment Certificates' to MNRE for implementation of Grid Connected SPV power plants at the roof of their offices / other buildings, etc, as part of their clean energy initiatives and achieving national target of alleviating global warming. Various ministries / department have been sensitised by MNRE / SECI for implementation of grid connected rooftop systems.

MNRE has also collated the demand of the various ministries / departments for implementation of the systems. Based on the indicative list of sites provided by MNRE and various interested ministries, SECI is carrying out a potential assessment which shall be provided to the solar PV developers (SPD).

The SPDs will be selected state-wise through national competitive bidding process and provision of one rate / state will be kept in the scheme. The 1,000MW capacity will be distributed between CAPEX and RESCO modes of implementation in the ratio 30:70.

In this scheme, SECI in consultation with MNRE, is also introducing a Payment Security Mechanism, which is apparently a first in the history of the rooftop programme, with the assurance of all rightful payments to the SPDs under RESCO model. SECI has also tied up with financial institutes (FIs) banks such as IREDA and SBI for disbursement of loans with special discount packages to be offered by these institutions to the developers.

A toll-free number is being set up to ensure ease of communication of various stakeholders to SECI.