The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which is administered by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India (MNRE) has invited expressions of interest to build 10,000 MW of floating solar PV over the next three years.
Floating Solar Power Plant
The Expression of Interest (EOI) has been issued to attract floating solar PV developers for the development of Floating Solar PV (FSPV) in a phased program over the next three years. Developers will be selected by tender based on inputs from the EOI and will be given an assured off-take of solar power generated from the projects via long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The aim is to establish 100 GW of solar power plant by 2022.
SECI has so far successfully implemented 750 MW of viability gap funding (VGF) and is currently implementing 2000 MW and 5000 MW VGF schemes. It has also been designated as the implementing agency/scheme manager for various other solar schemes such as the Rooftop Solar PV Program, Solar Parks, Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects and Solarization of the Indian-Pakistan border, and is providing project management consultancy services to various government and non-government organisations for setting up of Solar Power Projects.
The Indian Government launched its National Solar Mission (NSM) in 2009 with a development target of 20,000 MW of solar capacity. This was subsequently scaled up to 100,000 MW by 2022. Given that solar PV power plant is land intensive, there are various physical and legal challenges to overcome in order to acquire the land for these projects. For this reason, the government is proposing to utilize the large amount of water surface area available in Indian reservoirs for installing floating solar PV plants. Various technologies have already been developed with this objective in mind and a few pilots have already been installed in India and elsewhere.
The aim of the EOI issued by SECI is to commit to rapid scaled up utilization of solar power generation in India, envisaging the development of different sizes of FSPV plant over the next three years. The EOI will enable SECI to gather information about the feasibility of these projects and prospective developers in the market. This will also enable SECI to formulate and issue calling of bids from developers on a build, own and operate basis.
SECI will cooperate with various state-owned agencies and other autonomous bodies to identify different sites for the development of FSPV projects. The selected developers will be required to design, construct and erect projects and connect them with substations, as well as testing and commissioning projects within the designated time period. Developers will also be required to obtain and maintain all consents, clearances, permits and approvals for the entire term of the PPA and will be required to own projects and arrange funds including equity for their financing. Generated power from the projects will be procured by SECI and other authorised agencies via a tariff through the PPA. The power will then be offered for sale to different utilities under long-term Power Sale Agreements.