SECI issues tender to electrify 1,000 Indian villages with solar

A new tender has been issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) calling for the electrification of more than 1,000 Indian villages using off-grid solar power packs.

The global tender has been issued on behalf of Arunachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (APEDA) and will be developed under a government-run program called Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), which is tasked with providing continuous power supply to rural India.

According to Mercom Capital, SECI will seek to attract developers to install 300 Wp solar power packs at 1,058 villages in the state, totaling 16,000 solar packs in all. The developer that offers the lowest rates will be successful, and offers must incorporate site surveys, planning, design, engineering, assembly manufacturing, testing, supply, delivery, storage and installation.

Companies must also provide O&M services for five years post-installation and also provide SECI with an upfront security deposit equivalent to 10% of the value of the contract. This will be held as a performance bank guarantee for 60 months from the date of the signing of the contract.

SECI will pay 80% of the value of the work once installation and operation has been certified either by the village head or another authorized individual. Of the remaining 20%, 10% will be paid to the developer once a service center has been established in each district of Arunachal Pradesh where solar power packs have been commissioned, while the remaining 10% will be released at a rate of 2% at the end of every five-year period, provided there are no ongoing issues with the solar installations.

"Arunachal Pradesh has very tough terrain and it is hard to install grid-connected solar," said a SECI official. "These solar power packs are the solution as they are both power-efficient and cost-efficient. The government will not have to spend on grid-connectivity and transmission. It will also lead to these villages becoming power-independent to an extent."