SECI Revises Tender Specifications for RE Power Bundled with Thermal worth 5 GW

As per the new request for selection (RfS) document, the bidder can submit a single bid offering a minimum amount of 250 MW capacity and a maximum of 5 GW. The range was 500 MW to 5 GW earlier

August 31, 2020. By News Bureau

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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announce that it has issued amendments to the RfS document for the supply of 5 GW of round-the-clock (RTC) power from grid-connected renewable projects supplemented with power from coal-based thermal projects.

As per the new request for selection (RfS) document, the bidder can submit a single bid offering a minimum amount of 250 MW capacity and a maximum of 5 GW. The range was 500 MW to 5 GW earlier.

Lately, the Ministry of Power (MoP) issued guidelines for obtaining of round-the-clock power from grid-connected renewable projects complemented with power from thermal power projects.

According to the amendment to section II clause 10, the minimum bid capacity should be 250 MW, and the developer should supply renewable power complemented with thermal power, keeping at least 85% availability annually. The developer will be required to offer power such that at least 51% of the annual energy offered corresponds to renewable power, and the balance is being provided from thermal sources. The developer can combine storage for ensuring that it achieves the required minimum annual availability of 85%.

The amended RfS states that the project capacity can be more than the contracted capacity. Project capacity will be in AC capacities for solar PV and wind power components as declared to be installed in the power purchase agreement (PPA). At the time of commissioning, installation of the rated capacity of wind and solar PV components as declared in the PPA, will be verified by the Commissioning Committee.

The possible RTC configuration for a contracted capacity of 500 MW could be 300 MW of solar, 200 MW of thermal, and 100 MW of wind (3:2:1).

As per the amendments, the renewable projects that have already been commissioned will not be considered under this RfS. Also, enhancement of already commissioned projects will not be considered as an eligible project under this RfS. However, already commissioned or under construction thermal projects will be considered under this RfS, provided they have unused generation capacity that can be made available for long-term supply of power. Earlier it was mentioned that the thermal energy could be based on domestic coal as fuel, or coal from imported sources. However, whether the fuel is domestic coal or imported was to be stipulated at the time of bid submission. This clause has been removed now.

As per the new RfS, the renewable projects, along with the energy storage system (ESS) installed, if any, can either be co-located or be at different locations. Other elements of RTC power, i.e., solar, wind, and thermal, can be connected with the interstate transmission system (ISTS) network at different ISTS sub-stations. Earlier, there was no mention of ESS in the bidding document. It was mentioned that for better grid balancing, various components of RTC power should be connected with the central transmission utility (CTU) network, but within the same regional load despatch center (RLDC) region.

The documents further state that the buying entity should bear the ISTS charges and losses corresponding to the energy injected from the thermal power of the project. Further, energy injected from the thermal component, if any, should be subject to applicable regulations with respect to deviation settlement mechanism (DSM). Earlier, the regulation said that the developer would have to bear the ISTS charges and losses levied for any renewable source utilized that is not eligible for a waiver.

Another amendment said that after the commissioning of the project, if for any year, the project availability is less than 85% on an annual basis, the developer would be liable to pay liquidated damages to distribution companies. The damages will be 25% of the cost of this shortfall in energy terms.  Earlier, this was applicable only for the renewable component of the power supplied, which was set as 51%.

The documents further state that bidders selected by SECI based on this RfS should submit a performance bank guarantee (PBG) for a value at the rate of ₹1 million (~$13,523)/ MW/project, at least seven days before signing of PPA.  The period set earlier was within 70 days of issuance of letter of award (LoA) or before the signing of PPA.

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