Kerala to Install 1 GW of Solar Projects Under Soura Program by 2022

200 MW of rooftop solar projects will be tendered under Phase I of the program

August 9, 2019


The Kerala Government has launched a program called “Soura” to add 1,000 MW of solar projects to the existing capacity of Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) by 2022. The projects will be implemented under the Urja State Kerala Mission and will be executed to fulfill the state’s renewable purchase obligation (RPO).

Of the 1,000 MW, 500 MW will be implemented through a solar rooftop program. In phase I, 200 MW rooftop solar capacity has been planned, the tender for which will be issued in August 2019.

The Soura program involves 500 MW rooftop solar, 200 MW of ground-mounted solar, 100 MW of floating solar, 150 MW of solar park, and 50 MW of canal top solar projects to be installed by 2022.

Of the 200 MW rooftop solar in phase I, KSEBL will invite bids for 50 MW under engineering, procurement and contracting (EPC or CAPEX) model and the remaining 150 MW under RESCO (Tariff based or OPEX) model. In the EPC model, KSEBL will own the solar rooftop, system and the EPC contractor will provide services such as the design, supply, construction, testing, and commissioning of the solar systems and will hand it over to KSEBL after two years of operation and maintenance (O&M). In the EPC model, the bidder quotes the project cost per kW. The rooftops are leased for 25 years. The upper ceiling rate under the e-reverse auction, including two years of O&M inclusive of all taxes, are:

Kerala Soura Program: Upper Ceiling Rate for Rooftop Solar Systems Under CAPEX mode

Under the RESCO (renewable energy service company) model, the developer will own the rooftop solar project and will sell the power to KSEBL at a rate discovered during the bidding process. The scope of work for the bidder will be the design, engineering, manufacture, quality assurance, factory testing, transportation, handling, storage, and installation of the projects. Commissioning and supply of power from the solar project and O&M for 25 years is also part of the bid. The ceiling tariff in the bidding process is as follows:

Kerala Soura Program: The Upper Ceiling Rate for Rooftop Solar Systems Under RESCO mode

The bidding will be held for three categories of capacities – 2-10 kW, 11-100 kW, and above 100 kW.

The project will be implemented under three business models. In model one of the program, KSEBL will use the rooftop of consumers to install the project for 25 years. The entire cost of the project will be borne by KSEBL. The electricity generated will be injected into the grid, and a fixed percentage of generation (around 10%) will be used by the consumer without any charges.

Under the second model, KSEBL will install the rooftop projects on the consumer’s property. The electricity generated will be sold to the consumer at a fixed price for 25 years through a power purchase agreement (PPA). KSEBL will bear the full cost of the project.

Under the third model, KSEBL will establish a solar project for the consumer after collecting the cost of the project from the owner. The excess energy if any, after the consumption by the plant owner, will be settled at an average power purchase cost (APPC) rate approved by the KSERC (Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission).

Recently, the KSEBL had invited interested local bidders for the selection of an EPC contractor for the development of grid-connected rooftop solar projects on buildings owned by the district panchayath of Thiruvananthapuram.

Image Credit: Photo by Paul Krashefski. – U.S. Department of Energy from the United States [Public domain]