SECI Announces Notice Inviting Tender for 5 GW of Renewable Power Bundled with Thermal

The aim is to provide round-the-clock power to distribution companies


The Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) has announced a notice inviting tender (NIT) for the procurement of 5 GW of power on a round-the-clock basis from renewable energy sources complemented with thermal power projects on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis.

The request for selection (RfS) document with all the necessary details will be issued soon.

To tackle the intermittency issues in solar and wind, ‘reverse bundling’ is now being used where high-cost thermal power is allowed to be bundled with cheaper renewable energy and provided round-the-clock to the distribution companies.

Mercom spoke to a SECI official who said that the tender is yet to be finalized, and it will be based on the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) guidelines which are under approval.

Recently, MNRE came up with a draft plan to supply round-the-clock (RTC) power from renewable (solar, wind, and hydro) projects, which will be complemented with power from thermal projects. The MNRE has asked for feedback from various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Power (MoP), renewable energy associations, and state governments and their power distribution companies, among others.

Recently, SECI had invited an expression of interest (EoI) from power generators involved in hydro, pumped storage, gas, battery storage, and thermal generating stations to supply power to SECI, which it would then blend with different renewable sources. The aim is to meet the challenges posed by the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, which need to be supplemented with other conventional sources of power.

In October 2019, SECI had issued a tender to procure 400 MW (2×200 MW) of renewable energy on a round-the-clock basis. The energy procured through these projects will be supplied to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The projects developed under this tender will be connected to the inter-state transmission system (ISTS). SECI has now extended the bid submission deadline for the tender. The bid submission deadline has been extended from December 3, 2019, to February 20, 2020, while the tender opening event has been scheduled for February 25, 2020.

The first phase of JNNSM provided for the ‘bundling’ facility, where solar power could be bundled with the comparatively cheap thermal power from the unallocated quota generated at National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) coal-based stations. This was to provide a boost for grid-connected solar projects.