Daily News Wrap-Up: Uttar Pradesh Floats 600 MW Solar Tender

Karnataka, Rajasthan launch auction of exploration licenses for critical minerals

March 12, 2024


The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency has floated a tender to select solar project developers to set up 600 MW grid-connected solar power projects in Jhansi Solar Park. The last date for the submission of bids is May 8, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. Bidders must pay a document fee amounting to ₹29,500 ($356) and a processing fee of ₹500,000 ($6,047) plus 18% GST per quoted project with a capacity equal to or exceeding 50 MW but up to 90 MW.

In a first for India, Karnataka and Rajasthan have launched an auction of exploration licenses for critical and deep-seated minerals, which play a critical role in the transition to green energy. Karnataka has launched the auction for copper and lithium, both used in electric vehicle batteries, and Rajasthan, the auction of three blocks of rare earth elements and rare metals. The auction will permit the exploration licensee to undertake reconnaissance and prospecting operations for the minerals mentioned in the newly inserted seventh schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

NTPC Renewable Energy has invited bids for the land and power evacuation package to set up a 150 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power project in Bhadla, Rajasthan. The last date to submit bids is April 10, 2024. Bids will be opened on the same day. The scope of work includes acquiring 5 acres per MW of contiguous land on a freehold or leasehold basis near the Bhadla-II inter-state transmission system substation. The lease period must be for 29 years and 11 months. Government land will be a maximum of 10% of the total land.

Mercom’s Webinar ‘How to Save on Costs with High-Power String Inverters in Large-Scale Solar Projects‘ will explore projects where these inverters are a prudent choice over smaller models and central inverters. The panel of experts will also discuss how the costs could be reduced during construction and the lifetime of the project with the use of high-power string inverters. The panelists are Nilesh Mahajan, CEO and Director of Roofsol Energy; Yogish HN, AVP-BD at Enerparc; Gajanan Sawant, Senior Manager – Design and Engineering at Cleanmax; Sunil Panigrahi, Country Manager – India at Hopewind and Rakesh B P, Solution Manager at Hopewind. Priya Sanjay, Managing Director at Mercom India, will moderate the session.

Goa Energy Development Agency has invited bids to commission 30 MW of rooftop solar projects on government buildings through the renewable energy service company model. Phase 1 of the project comprises 75 locations with a total capacity of 10-13 MW, while Phase 2 encompasses 312 locations with a capacity of 20-28 MW. The selected bidders must also oversee the operation and maintenance of the project for 25 years. The last day to submit the bids is April 26, 2024. Bids will be opened on April 29.

NTPC has invited bids for retrofitting a solar inverter for the 5 MW solar photovoltaic power project at its Dadri thermal power plant in Uttar Pradesh. The scope of work entails the supply, erection, testing, and inspection of equipment and materials at the manufacturer’s facility, packing, supply, transportation, transit insurance, delivery to the site, unloading, storage, and equipment erection, including associated civil and structural works if any, for the solar power inverter. The last date for submission of bids is March 26, 2024. Bids will be opened on March 28, 2024. Bidders must furnish an earnest money deposit of ₹100,000 ($1,209).

SJVN Green Energy (SGEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of SJVN, has signed a power usage agreement (PUA) and power purchase agreement with Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT Services for the supply of 600 MW of solar power for 25 years. The PUA entails the supply of 500 MW of solar power from SGEL’s 1 GW Bikaner solar power project at a tariff of ₹2.57 (~$0.0311)/kWh. SGEL had won the project capacity in the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency’s auction for 5 GW of grid-connected solar projects (Tranche-III).

State distribution companies owed power generators ₹920.88 billion (~$11.12 billion) in total dues for the monthly billing cycle in February 2024, according to the Ministry of Power’s payment ratification and analysis portal PRAAPTI. The current outstanding dues, excluding the latest monthly dues, are ₹378.71 billion (~$4.57 billion). The overdue before the trigger date is ₹309.26 billion (~$3.73 billion), after which the amount will increase by ₹69.46 billion (~$839.42 million) as the late payment surcharge (LPS) would apply.

SJVN Green Energy has broken ground for its 50 MW solar power project at the Sitalmari village of Sonitpur district in Assam. Located in Barsola Block under the Dhekiajuli Revenue Sector, the project is estimated to cost ₹2.91 billion (~$35.17 million). The project is expected to generate 101 MU of green energy in the first year and 2,319 MU of cumulative energy over 25 years. The power generated will be supplied to the Assam Power Development Corporation at a tariff of ₹3.92 (~$0.0474)/kWh.

The solar market in the U.S. installed 32.4 GW capacity in 2023, a 51% increase from the previous year, according to the Solar Market Insight Report for 2023 by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). 2023 was the U.S. solar industry’s best year yet. Solar energy also accounted for 53% of all new electricity-generating capacity added to the U.S. grid, which, for the first time, made up over half of the new generating capacity.

Scientists from the National University of Singapore have announced a record 27.1% energy conversion efficiency from a novel triple-junction solar cell they developed. The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature, claims to overcome the limitations in current solar cell technologies. Solar cells work by absorbing energy from sunlight and converting it into electricity. Multi-junction cells layer different materials that absorb different ranges of solar energy, increasing the overall efficiency. However, most existing multi-junction designs suffer from energy losses and instability issues.