India to hold 1GW solar tender for government rooftops

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is to launch a tender for 1GW of new PV rooftop capacity for central government ministries and departments.

The projects will be grid-connected and form part of India’s overall plans for 40GW of rooftop solar power plants by 2022.

Under the terms of the tender, capital cost incentives provided by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) are to be linked to performance against set targets by relevant ministries and departments.

Reaching 80% and above of the potential capacity will warrant a subsidy of 18,750 rupees/kW ($278/kW), between 50% and 80% will receive 11,250 rupees/kW and below 50% of the potential will get 7,500 rupees/kW in most states.

MNRE has allocated 21 ministries and departments to the SECI scheme, including the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Urban Development.

The ministries concerned have already submitted ‘Green Energy Commitment Certificates’ to MNRE for implementation of grid-connected rooftop PV power plants as part of their clean energy initiatives.

Power generated from the solar systems will be used to meet the requirements of the buildings and the surplus power, if any, shall be fed to the grid under the net-metering arrangement of the respective state.

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Ahead of the tender launch SECI – a government-owned entity – is carrying out an assessment based on the indicative list of sites provided by MNRE and various interested ministries. Project developers will be selected state-wise through a national competitive bidding process.

The move follows on from SECI’s earlier tender for 500MW of grid-connected roof-top PV capacity, which was launched in April and targeted the residential, institutional and social sectors.

In December 2015, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved 50bn rupees ($741m) in funding for capital subsidies for rooftop solar installations across residential, government, social and institutional segments over the next five years. The government expects this subsidy to support development of some 4.2GW of roof-top solar capacity.

The capital subsidy will cover 30% of the costs in some states, and up to 70% in so-called special category states such as Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu