The Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) has tendered 500 MW
(AC) of grid-connected solar in the state of Tamil Nadu. The state-owned
company has mandated
that each project will be a minimum of 50 MW, and the projects will be spread
over a maximum of 10 locations in Tamil Nadu. Contractors will be selected
through competitive bidding and the projects will be developed on an engineering,
procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. The projects will be commissioned
within a one-year timeframe from the Letter of Award (LoA) issue date.
The company has also stated
that bidders can source modules and cells domestically, as well as from international
manufacturers. The bids will be evaluated separately. If the bidder decides to
bid using indigenously manufactured PV cells and modules, they will need to follow
the domestic content requirement (DCR) criteria prescribed by the latest
guidelines from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the Viability
Gap Funding (VGF) program for central public sector utilities (CPSUs).
The scope of work includes the procurement of land, design,
engineering, manufacturing, inspection, supply, insurance, transport, erection,
storage, testing and commissioning. The successful contractor will be
responsible for provisional take over with associated power evacuation system,
including grid-connectivity approval from state authorities, external
transmission lines and right of way. The contractor will be responsible for
project operation and maintenance for a 15-year period.
According to a NLC official, the power purchase agreements
(PPAs) for these projects will be signed with the Tamil Nadu Generation and
Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). TANGEDCO has been the single largest
purchaser of power from NLC India.
This tender is expected to attract more interest compared to
the recent TANGEDCO tender
as it is a EPC tender with a public sector unit. According to Mercom’s India Project Tracker, NLC has
commissioned a 10 MW solar project in Neyveli in Tamil Nadu and two projects of
65 MW each are also under construction in Neyveli.