Karnataka rooftop PV tender highlights

Rooftop PV has been seeing lot of action recently. Several state governments have started promoting solar rooftop programmes mainly as pilot projects in cities. First, it was Gujarat, and soon Kerala followed suit. (For a comparison of the two programmes, click here). Tamil Nadu also stresses the importance of rooftop PV in achieving its target of 3 GW in 3 years. Tamil Nadu plans to commission 350 MW of rooftop PV installations by 2015. (For analyses of the Tamil Nadu rooftop guidelines, click here and here). The Phase 2 of JNNSM is also expected to see an addition of 200 MW of rooftop and small PV systems by 2017.

(Update : Solar Energy Corporation of India has released the bid documents for rooftop projects in 6 cities across India. Click here for details)

The tender released by Karnataka government, through KREDL(Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited)  is another step in the right direction.  The last date for submission of the bids is over(on 10 Jan 2013), but it is still worthwhile to analyse the tendering process. The tender can be accessed here.

Unlike the 10,000 off-grid rooftop PV programme of Kerala, the Karnataka tender is for grid-connected power projects of two sizes – 0.5 kW and 1 kW, in 5 cities.

Rooftop details

The total value of the tender is Rs. 35 Crore (inlcuding the MNRE subsidy).
The broad scope of work as defined by the tender is to do turnkey installation and commisioning of these projects and also comprehensive Operation & Maintenance(O&M) for 5 years. The bidder has to provide a minimum annual generation guarantee of 450 kWh and 900 kWh for the 0.5 kW and 1 kW system respectively, irrespective of weather conditions. If these targets are not met, penalty of Rs. 20 per kWh will be charged to the shortfall of units(kWh) generated.
As part of the O&M, bidders have to maintain enough spares so that they can make sure that the plants are functional within 48 hours from the plant breakdown. In case of delay beyond 48 hours, the bidder has to pay a penalty of Rs. 2000 per day for the delay. The bidder has to submit a monthly O&M report to KREDL.
One similarity with the Kerala programme is that only the SPV Channel Partners of MNRE can take part in the tender.(Click here for the latest list of MNRE Channel Partners).
The tender specifies that the bidder should have an annual turnover of at least Rs. 10 Crores in one of the last 3 years.  Apart from the financial capability, the tender specifies that

  1. the applicant should have completed one MW size of Solar PV project in the last 2 years as a turnkey EPC service provider.
  2. the applicant should have done SPV projects for any of the central or state government organisations in the last two years.

Condition 2 made me frown, because this is restricting the number of companies who can participate in the tender because the industry is quite nascent and there would not be too  many players which are both a MNRE channel partner AND also have done projects with government organisations.
Another interesting condition is that the bidder should have an authorised service centre in Karnataka.
The bidder who has quoted the lowest will be awarded the contract. KREDL can split the work among several bidders.
Payment schedule
–          50% of the cost of the system(less Rs. 25,000 security deposit) prior to the installation of the system
–          20% of the cost of the system(plus Rs. 25,000) after the commissioning of the system
–          20% of the cost of the system after the release of subsidy by MNRE
–          10% of the cost of the system and the 5% performance security to be released in 5 equal annual installments subject to the performance of the system.
The whole process is planned to be completed in 14 weeks.


The technical bids must have been opened on 11.01.2013 and the financial bid is scheduled to be opened on 18.01.2013.

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