By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 6, 2018: About 14 companies have qualified the technical round for developing 200-Mw of grid-connected solar power projects in Odisha floated by Gridco, state’s bulk power purchaser.

The companies included Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Group, IBC Solar, Essel, Hero Group, Mahindra Susten and Azure Power.

The bids have a green shoe option wherein Gridco can go up to 300 Mw capacity in solar installs. Sources said that against the target of 200 Mw, the state’s bulk trader has received bids for a whopping 845 Mw, an official said adding that Gridco will enter into a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with the successful bidder for 25 years from the date of commercial operations.

The state has set a solar target to generate 2378 Mw by under the National target of 100 GW of solar by 2022.

An individual project will have a minimum capacity of 10 Mw and maximum up to 100 Mw in multiples of 5 Mw.

The latest tariff rate in Odisha for solar is Rs 4.5 per Mw under a scheme of the new and renewable energy ministry.

Earlier, Essel Green Energy, part of the Subash Chandra-owned Essel Group, won bulk of the 270-Mw tender for solar capacity at Odisha floated by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Essel Green Energy was awarded 240 Mw, Jyoti Infrastructure bagged 10 Mw and IBC Solar Ventures bagged 20 Mw from the tender.

Private sector interest in Odisha’s solar power sector had not seen enough traction till now. After NTPC, NLC and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), SJVN, a mini-ratna PSU, has evinced interest in participating in the state’s solar park programme.

Odisha recently cleared a plan by NEEPCO to invest Rs 9.44 billion to set up a 200-Mw solar power plant. The unit is scheduled to start operations in December 2019.

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