Karnataka Issues Tender to Replace 700 Modules in a 10-Year-Old 3 MW Solar Project in Belagavi

Work completion timeframe is 12 weeks


The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) has issued a repair tender for a 3 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project located in Itnal village of the state’s Belagavi district. This is a unique first of its kind tender in India.

The bid submission deadline is April 10, 2019. The tender is for the supply, erection, testing, and commissioning of 700 solar PV modules of 230-watt capacity.  The scope of work also includes the dismantling of defective 668 solar PV modules of capacity 230 watts at the project site.

The 3 MW project was developed at the cost of ₹590 million (~$8.5 million) on 17 acres of government land acquired. Photon Energy Systems served as the engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractor for this project. The project commissioned in December 2009, was financed by KPCL from its internal resources under Arunodaya Scheme. Now this project needs replacement of solar modules merely within a decade of commissioning. The project is receiving a feed-in tariff of ₹14.5 ($0.21)/kWh.

The new modules must match the existing module connectors and mounting structure size. The project completion timeframe is 12 weeks from the date of award of the contract. All equipment supplied and installed at the site must have a guarantee of 18 months after its commissioning.

The solar PV modules utilized for the project will be warrantied for a period for ten years for failures due to material defects and workmanship. The peak output wattage of the solar modules should not be less than 90 percent after one year and 80 percent at the end of 25 years.

The successful bidder will also be required to provide a contract performance guarantee amounting to 10 percent of the contract value.

The question also is why did so many modules fail in one project? Issues like this will arise in projects which were built using low-quality components. As projects age, we could see more tenders of this type in the future.

According to the Mercom India Solar Project Tracker, Karnataka has installed large-scale solar capacity of over 5.3 GW and has a development pipeline of ~2.5 GW, making it the leading solar state. Karnataka is a hotbed of activities when it comes to the solar sector.

KPCL has 34 MW of solar projects in the operation of which 15 MW was developed under the National Solar Mission program, according to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker.

Recently, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) provided its approval to issue the letter of award to Amar Raja Power Systems Limited, to construct 50 MW (10 MW x 2 blocks + 15 MW x 2 blocks) of solar projects at Pavagada Solar Park, located in Tumkur district of Karnataka. In December 2018, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) had issued a tender for the selection of engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for 50 MW solar PV at Pavagada Solar Park, located in Tumkur district of Karnataka.

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.