The Solar Energy Corporation of India has received a healthy response to the largest-ever rooftop solar power tender in the world, which it launched earlier this year.
By Baishakhi Dutta
The 500 MW tender for grid-connected rooftop solar power projects received applications from prospective developers willing to set up a cumulative of 602 MW of capacity. The tender was divided in three segments.
A total of 52 companies placed bids to develop 254 MW of capacity against the offered 200 MW of capacity. Projects under this capacity will each have a capacity of 25 kW or more. These projects will be implemented by the developers directly.
Another category where 200 MW of capacity was ordered with 25-kW-and-above project size attracted bids for only 108 MW. Developers under this category will set up projects in collaboration with rooftop owners.
A total of 91 companies placed bids to set up 240 MW of capacity with projects up to 25 kW size each. The prospective developers were offered 100 MW of capacity in the tender by SECI. Developers will set up these projects directly.
India has set a target to have 100 GW of solar power capacity operational by April 2022, which includes a target of 40 GW for rooftop solar power systems. Rooftop solar power capacity represents just 10% of the 5 GW solar power capacity currently operational in India. Increasing the capacity to 40 GW in about 75 months will be a gargantuan task.
The Indian government has received significant financial support from international agencies, and has also announced aggressive subsidy measures to promote rooftop solar power projects.
Officials of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently announced that the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the newly-founded BRICS development bank will provide $500 million each for the development of rooftop solar power projects in the country.