Madhya Pradesh Seeks Consultants for Environmental Assessment of Three Solar Parks

The three solar parks will have a cumulative capacity of 1,500 MW


Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) has issued a request for proposal (RfP) for consultancy services for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of three solar parks in the state. The assessment would include the internal evacuation infrastructure and associated transmission lines of a cumulative capacity of 1,500 MW.

RUMSL is a joint venture between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (MPUVNL).

The bid submission deadline is August 30, 2019. The date for opening the technical bids is August 31, 2019. The date for opening financial bids is September 6, 2019. The bid security amount to be submitted by the bidder amounts to ₹500,000 (~$ 7,001). The selected bidder should submit performance security valid for 12 months. The performance security is an amount of ₹1 million (~$ 13,998) and has to be submitted within seven days from the work order.

RUMSL is in the process of developing three solar parks with a combined capacity of 1,500 MW located in Agar, Shajapur, and Neemuch districts with individual capacities of 550 MW, 450 MW, and 500 MW respectively. The districts are located in Madhya Pradesh, and the World Bank will finance the entire 1,500 MW capacity.

This particular RfP is to evaluate the environmental and social impact of solar parks. Internal evacuation and associated transmission lines of the solar parks, up to the state transmission utility (STU) or central transmission utility (CTU) substation. The consultants in this assignment should come up with a methodology to deal with the environmental impacts in the region surrounding the installed project. This will have to adhere to the requirements of the Government of India (GoI), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) or the World Bank (WB) and will be executed by RUMSL. A brief study has been conducted for the solar parks while transmission lines have been exempted from the review.

Scope of the Study:

The consultants on the project will have to explain in a simple and succinct manner the findings and actions of the ESIA. A project description to understand the environmental and social setting and sensitivities for three components such as the solar power projects in the pipeline; internal evacuation infrastructure between the solar park to pooling sub-stations, and associated transmission lines between the pooling sub-stations to their relevant substations depending on the solar park under consideration. The consultant should also draft a summary of the land acquisition and its effect on indigenous populations of that region. The Right of Way (RoW) problems for the transmission line component must be addressed. The selected consultant should recommend three pathways to lay transmission lines.

Data collected for ESIA should be environmentally and socially region-specific and must aid decisions like project location, design, construction, operation, or mitigation measures. The data should highlight issues such as air pollution, ambient noise, water consumption, construction waste disposal, traffic and transport management, and the influx of labor. An in-depth study on the impact of the solar park on the regional ecology, flora and fauna, water bodies, air, and all the natural and human elements must be thoroughly conducted by the concerned consultant.

RUMSL is responsible for transmission lines from the site to the respective substations.

The eligibility criteria for bidders require the bidding consultant to be a single bidding company or a consortium of companies. The consultant should have completed a minimum of four environment and social assessment studies in the last three financial years. The consultant should have some experience in performing ESIA according to the World Bank and IFC performance standards in a minimum of one of the three assessment studies.

The consultant should have a minimum turnover of ₹100 million (~$ 1.39 million) in the last three financial years.

In October 2018, Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited had tendered a total of 1,500 MW of grid-connected solar projects which were to be developed across three solar parks in the state of Madhya Pradesh, but the tenders didn’t result in an auction.

Rewa solar park auction heralded the dawn of falling solar tariffs in India. There are two major reasons for such low tariffs being quoted in the auction – the availability of cheap funds and the availability of payment security mechanisms to protect the developer’s interests. In Rewa, various payment security measures were introduced. For instance, four-tier security guarantees were provided to ensure that, in the case of any delay or even natural calamities that may lead to a transmission disruption, payment to developers is still guaranteed.

Image credit: Mahindra Susten

Ramya Ranganath is an Associate Editor and Writer for Mercom Communications India. Before joining Mercom, Ramya worked as a Senior Editor at a digital media supply chain solutions company. Throughout her career, she has developed end-to-end content for various companies in a wide range of domains, including renewables. Ramya holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology and is passionate about environmental issues and permaculture.