Maharashtra Retenders 750 MW of Solar for Agricultural Feeders Due to Lack of Response

The tender comes with a green-shoe option


The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) has retendered 750 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to cater to the agricultural (AG) feeder load of various substations across the state.

This tender was originally issued in June 2019; however, due to poor response from prospective developers, the tender was delayed and now re-issued.

The new bid-submission deadline is July 11, 2019.

In this tender, MAHAGENCO has added a greenshoe option through which any bidder can choose to develop another 250 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects at the lowest (L1) tariff discovered in the auction. The capacity has been tendered under the state’s Solar Agriculture Feeder program.

MAHAGENCO has reduced the upper tariff ceiling for this tender from ₹3.25 (~$0.0477)/kWh to ₹3.23 kWh. A single bidder can bid for the entire capacity tendered.

A MAHAGENCO official said, “We have been extending the submission deadlines for this tender. We have even retendered the capacity, but the response was not satisfactory, and we had to go for repeated extensions. The Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Yojana in the state is not receiving the desired response, and as this capacity was tendered under that program, this too has received a scant response from the bidders.”

Mercom recently reported that in the state of Maharashtra, all the grid-connected solar PV projects developed under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana would not be required to pay property tax for 30 years.

Agricultural demand for electricity is one of the largest burdens on India’s power sector as irrigation systems are largely undeveloped, and farmers are dependent on electricity to power the pumps. Solar can mitigate this entire portion of demand by generating power at the source and converting users into suppliers. Previously, Mercom published an article on how solar power can be a game-changer for the agricultural sector. Read the report here.