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TN rolls out largest solar power tender

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The Tamil Nadu government has issued the country’s largest ever tender to be awarded for solar power projects in the State. This development comes amidst recent incidences wherein imported solar modules dumped into the country were being probed .

The tender issued is for the “procurement of solar power from developers establishing solar power plants of 1 MW or above capacity in the State of Tamil Nadu at the rate to be finalised through competitive bidding.”

The basic broad lines of the tender are the same as communicated to the public by the state electricity distribution utility, Tangedco — that projects would be awarded to the bidder who quotes the least tariff. Payments to developers will be secured by an ‘unconditional, revolving and irrevocable letter of credit’ mechanism. The tender gives time-lines for various milestones to be achieved (mainly, signing of power purchase agreement within 120 days from the date of issue of tender and commissioning of projects within 360 days.) Other conditions include performance guarantee (Rs 3 million per MW) and the penalties for delay.

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The tender does not mention anything about rationing of the 1 GW across bidders, which was earlier directed by Tangedco. “The short-term impact will be felt on the 100 MW of projects under the Rajasthan policy and 1,000 MW programme of Tamil Nadu policy. At this stage, we have no idea how this will play out,” says Madhavan Nampoortiri, founder, RESolve.

Given the tight timelines, most prospective bidders are expected to have already been in negotiation about the price with cell or module suppliers. The anti-dumping duty could come as a jolt to the prospective bidders as the tariff could be around Rs 6 per unit.

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