At 6.5 GW, Solar Tenders Surge While Auctions Plummet in August 2019

Numerous tenders also saw extensions of their bid submission deadlines


After witnessing a considerable dip in July, the month of August saw a surge in solar tender announcements. Nearly, 6.5 GW of solar tenders were floated, and 695 MW of solar project auctions were conducted during the month compared to July 2019 in which only 1.1 GW of solar projects were tendered, and 300 MW was retendered with no auctions.

Year-over-year, the capacity tendered in August 2019 was nearly 280% higher compared to August 2018, which witnessed tender announcements of 1.7 GW.

Nearly 4.5 GW of tenders had their bid submission deadlines in August, but due to technical constraints and amendments, deadlines for 2.7 GW of projects were postponed to September 2019, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker. For instance, recently, two tenders for major solar projects issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) were postponed.

The two projects are 1,200 MW connected with the interstate transmission system (ISTS) network under tariff-based competitive bidding (ISTS-VI) and 1,500 MW of solar projects under the second phase of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) program Tranche-II, whose submission deadlines were August 9 and August 23, 2019,  but they were postponed to September 13 and September 16, 2019, respectively.

India Solar Tenders and Auctions (MW)

Major Tenders

Here is a quick recap of the major tenders that were announced in August 2019:

SECI issued a tender for the selection of solar power developers to develop of 1,500 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects under the second phase of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) program (Tranche-II).

The tender includes mini and microgrid projects.  The power generated from these projects is expected to be procured by the government for self-use, either directly or through distribution companies on the payment of mutually agreed usage charges of not more than ₹3.50 (~$0.050)/kWh, which should be exclusive of any other third party charges like wheeling and transmission, point of connection, and cross-subsidy surcharges.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has issued tender inviting bids to develop of 1,350 MW of solar projects across 30 districts. The projects are to be implemented under the Mukhyamantri Solar AG feeder Program for giving daytime power to agricultural consumers.

According to the tender documents, projects of 50 MW capacity each will be developed in 24 districts or circles and 25 MW each across six districts or circles. MSEDCL will enter into power purchase agreements (PPA) with successful bidders for 25 years.

SECI has issued a Request for Selection (RfS) for setting up 1.2 GW of renewable projects connected with the interstate transmission system (ISTS) and with a guaranteed peak power supply (ISTS-VII).

In this tender, a project should have at least two components. One will be the energy storage system (ESS) component, and the other will be the renewable energy generating component. The RE generating component can be either a solar photovoltaic (SPV) system or a wind energy system or a hybrid system of both technologies.

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) issued a tender to set up 1,200 MW of interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar projects to be developed anywhere in India.


SECI reissued its tender for 97.5 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar systems for government buildings in various states and union territories. The projects can be developed under the CAPEX (capital expenses) or RESCO (renewable energy service company) model. 

In August 2019, NTPC retendered 20 MW of floating solar projects for its gas plant at Dibiyabpur in Uttar Pradesh. The tender was initially floated in December 2018.

Also, Gujarat-based Torrent Power Limited (TPL) retendered its 300 MW of solar power projects in the state. This procurement will help Torrent Power achieve its Renewable Purchase Obligation.

Major Auction 

In the auction held by SECI for its tender for 1,200 MW of solar projects, Softbank Energy (SB Energy) and GRT Jewellers India (GRT) were allocated capacities totaling 480 MW of solar power projects. The tender was left undersubscribed by 50%, receiving bids for only 600 MW of solar capacity. As the tender was undersubscribed, only 80% of the bid capacity could be awarded in line with the ministry norms. Therefore, only a capacity of 480 MW has been awarded out of the 1.2 GW capacity tendered.

Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.