Jharkhand Issues Tender to Power 47 Villages with Solar Projects
The Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) has issued a tender for the electrification of 47 villages under a decentralized distributed generation program under the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). The bid submission deadline is October 23, 2017.
These 44 villages are in West Singhbhum, Chatra, Sahibganj, Gumla and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand. The electrification will be carried out by setting up micro solar grids.
The estimated project cost is ₹100.93 million (~$1.55 million) and the project completion timeframe is 45 days from the issue of letter of award. The scope of work includes design, engineering, supply, testing, erection, and installation of solar projects in the villages. The successful bidder will also provide maintenance services for a period of five years.
In Jharkhand, it is particularly challenging to get grid power to remote areas due to the topography and the fact that majority tribal population are living in very remote areas. This makes utility-scale projects unviable. Microgrids are the only viable solution is these areas.
Large swathes in Jharkhand are unelectrified and there’s a need to bring power to those areas. The government agencies are being proactive in their efforts for rural electrification in the state.
In a bid to electrify two Jharkhand villages, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in November 2016, invited bids to develop solar PV systems in the villages of Naiparam and Chatti Garilong in Jharkhand.
In February 2017, the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government of Jharkhand worth ₹151.5 billion (~$2.25 billion) to develop transmission lines across the state and connect the entire state to the grid.
The response to this JREDA tender will be anyone’s guess. Developer and contractor morale in the state has been low. Jharkhand is the third state after Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to force developers to renegotiate solar power tariffs. Even after successful tariff renegotiation, the concerned parties have not signed power purchase agreements. The developers have reduced the capacities they had previously agreed to develop in the state.