Railways’ 1 GW Solar Tender Gets Another Bidding Deadline Extension

The last date for the submission of bids has been extended to October 08, 2020


RITES Limited, an engineering consultancy company, specializing in transport infrastructure, has extended the bid submission deadline for setting up 1 GW of land-based solar power projects on various zonal railways land across India.

The bid submission deadline has been extended to October 08, 2020. RITES has also issued amendments to the earlier issued tender.

The amendment added that the project’s estimated cost would be ₹45 million (~$612,493)/MW. The land use permission agreement (LUPA) signed between the successful bidder and the Railway Energy Management Limited (REMCL) for setting up of land-based solar power project has been removed in the amendments.

Interested bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹400,000 (~$5,444)/ MW as the bid security amount, which was earlier set as ₹1 million (~$13,611)/MW as the bid security amount. The ceiling tariff of ₹2.71 (~$0.04)/kWh has been removed in the amendments.

The tender was initially floated in April this year and since then has undergone multiple bid submission extensions.

According to the amendments, the time for the installation, construction, and commissioning of the project has been set as the effective date + 450 days. Earlier, the timeline was the effective date + 390 days. Further, the project should now achieve financial closure within nine months, which was earlier set as seven months.

The clause of the domestic content requirement (DCR) has been added to the amendment, which means that only domestically manufactured solar cells and modules can be used for the project. In the case of crystalline silicon technology, all process steps and quality control measures involved in the manufacture of solar cells and modules starting from wafers until the final assembly of the solar cells into modules should be performed in India.

Earlier, REMCL, a subsidiary of RITES, was assigned the responsibility of setting up 3 GW of solar power projects on vacant lands of the Indian Railways. During the announcement of the Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that solar capacity would be deployed along the railway tracks on lands owned by the Indian Railways.

Recently, the Indian Railways announced that it was planning to develop 20 GW of solar projects in its vacant lands to help meet projected consumption requirements of over 33 billion units by 2030. In a meeting with stakeholders, Union Minister of Railways, Commerce, and Industry, Piyush Goyal had discussed the Indian Railways’ objective of becoming 100% self-sustainable for all its power needs.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker, RITES has so far tendered nearly 2.6 GW of solar capacity (as of June 2020).