Tender to Empanel Business Associates Under KUSUM Program for Solar Pumps

Only domestically manufactured PV modules and pumps should be used in the program


The Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), a public sector undertaking, has invited an expression of interest (EoI) to empanel business associates for the off-grid solar water pumping program that is a part of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) program.

The last date for the submission of bids is January 14, 2020, while the opening of the bid has been scheduled for January 16, 2020.

According to ITI’s tender documents, the scope of work includes the design, manufacture, erection, testing, and commissioning of standalone off-grid solar water pumping systems of 10 HP (horsepower) in selected states. It also includes complete system warranty and its repair and maintenance for five years under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) off-grid and decentralized solar application programs.

In December 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued guidelines to develop decentralized solar power projects in the country.

As per the tender requirement, the bidder should be the original manufacturer of the solar pump (AC/DC submersible and surface) or solar PV modules. The bidder should have experience of supplying at least 300 off-grid solar PV water pumps in the last three years. Meanwhile, the cumulative annual turnover of the bidder should be at least ₹500 million (~$7 million) in the previous three financial years.


The successful bidder should conduct a site survey and provide a daily progress report (DPR) as per the requirement of the state nodal agencies (SNAs).

Regarding the technical requirements and testing, the system installed under the program should meet the technical specifications and construction standards as specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and MNRE from time to time.

According to the tender document, only domestically manufactured PV modules and pumps should be used in the program and ‘Made in India’ should be labeled on solar modules and pumps. The tender documents also state that the successful bidder should comply with the requirement of local content as per the customer. The tender says that a declaration needs to be submitted of the local products that are utilized in the project.

Recently, the government clarified that distribution companies could pass on the procurement-based incentive (PBI) given to them by the central government under Component- A of the program to the renewable project owners to get competitive tariffs. The MNRE’s clarifications further state that the implementing agencies can invite a single bid under Component-A of the program based on a pre-fixed levelized tariff for the installation of projects for all the distribution sub-stations in the state or within the DISCOM area.

Amid growing disappointment among the stakeholders, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) recently invited bids for off-grid solar water pump systems across India. The National Solar Energy Federation of India has been opposing the program mandate of using domestic solar cells in solar modules used for the solar pump installations and also wrote to the Minister of Power, suggesting several modifications.

Image credit: USDA NRCS Montana [Public domain]

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.