NEW DELHI: The renewable energy ministry has halved the size of its largest-ever rooftop solar tender and also cut the financial assistance offered for it. Ashvini Kumar, managing director of state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which had released documents related to a tender for installation of 1GW of rooftop solar plants across buildings of 12 central ministries, told ET the tender size has been reduced to 500 MW. He did not provide any more details. The 1 GW project would have doubled India’s rooftop solar capacity from 1020 MW as of end October 2016. The tender also incentivised speedy completion of projects by linking the government’s financial assistance to it.
For instance, in all states, apart from the special category ones, developers would get Rs 18,750 per KW as assistance if they completed at least 80% of the project within 15 months. Projects in special category states —mostly the hill states —would get Rs 45,000 per KW under the same terms. The figure was progressively lowered, depending on the extent of completion, while those who failed to get at least 40% of their project done in 15 months would get no assistance at all.
An official who did not wish to be named, said, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has now earmarked Rs 1,040 crore as the total amount that will be available as financial assistance for the project. It has also slashed the assistance offered across the board — for instance, those completing 80% of their project in 15 months will now get Rs 16,250 per KW in the general category states and Rs 39,000 per KW in the special category ones.