Daily News Wrap-Up: MNRE Allows Solar Mini Grid Installations for Tribal Areas

Maharashtra issues guidelines for rooftop solar at sugar factories

March 28, 2024


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has amended the guidelines for the implementation of the solar power program for particularly vulnerable tribal group habitations/villages under the Prime Minister’s Jan Shakti Nidhi initiative. The government had approved the ₹5.15 billion (~$61.9 million) program in January this year, aiming to provide clean and reliable electricity to underserved PVTG communities by installing solar mini grids. The amendments seek to enhance the program’s effectiveness and reach.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has issued directives regarding the installation of rooftop solar systems by sugar factories that have Energy/Power Purchase Agreements (EPA/PPA) with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) for their bagasse-based cogeneration projects. The guidelines, aimed at implementing the MERC order dated July 21, 2022, stipulate that sugar factories with EPA/PPA agreements with MSEDCL for cogeneration projects based on bagasse must submit applications to the Chief Engineer (Renewable Energy) to install grid-connected rooftop solar systems.

Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Technology (MAHAPREIT) has invited bids for the discovery of tariffs and selection of project developers to implement 400 MW grid-connected rooftop solar systems under the renewable energy service company model in Maharashtra. The last date for the submission of bids is April 2, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. The scope of the work includes design, engineering, supply, finance, installing, testing, and commissioning grid-connected rooftop solar systems. Successful bidders will have to provide comprehensive operation and maintenance (O&M) services for 20 years.

Bihar State Power Generation Company has invited bids to commission 564 MW of grid-connected distributed solar power projects in the jurisdictions of South and North Bihar Power Distribution Companies under Component-C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan Program. The scope of work also involves constructing the 11 kV line to connect the projects with substations and provide a remote monitoring system. The successful bidders must also oversee the projects’ operation and maintenance for 25 years. The project’s estimated cost is ₹35 million (~$419,938)/ MW.

MAHAPREIT, a subsidiary of Mahatma Phule Backward Class Development Corporation, has invited bids from prospective empanelment agencies to set up 350 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Maharashtra. The bidders must pay an earnest money deposit of ₹50,000 (~$600) and a non-refundable registration charge of ₹50,000 (~$600) plus 18% GST. The bids are due on April 12, 2024, and open on the same day. The period of empanelment for the agencies is for two years.

MAHAPREIT has invited bids to select a project management consultant for renewable energy projects in Goa. The scope of work includes preparing detailed project reports for 30 MW rooftop solar projects on government buildings and installing electric vehicle charging stations at 30 locations across Goa. The work must be completed within 12 months. The last date for submitting bids is April 3, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. The successful bidder will conduct site surveys, design the systems, estimate project costs, and assess financial feasibility.

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) has invited bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction package with land for 600 MW of solar power projects with power evacuation system in Maharashtra under the Renewable Energy Bundling Program Phase II. Bidders must also oversee the O&M for three years. The last day to submit the bids is April 12, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. The minimum project size at a single location should be 50 MW, and the maximum will be 300 MW.

Bihar State Power Generation Company has invited bids to set up a 10 MW grid-connected floating solar project under the renewable energy service company model over the reservoir of Durgawati Dam, located in the districts of Kaimur and Rohtas. The last date for bid submission is April 25, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. The project will be developed on a build-own-operate-maintain basis. The successful bidder will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement with the state’s distribution companies, North Bihar Power Distribution Company and South Bihar Power Distribution Company.