Bidding fees for solar rooftop project unviable: suppliers

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NT NETWORK

Panaji

Even as efforts are on to boost solar power in the state, local suppliers of solar power systems are concerned over shelling out exorbitantly for the bidding of a 5 MW rooftop project floated by the Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA).

Several suppliers of solar power on Wednesday, speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ said that the expenditure incurred for bidding is steep taking into account various fees charged by GEDA such as Rs 2,000 on the tender cost, security deposit of 10 per cent of the value of the allotted capacity, earnest money deposit of Rs 5.4 lakh and performance bank guarantee of two per cent of the project cost. 

They said that other states only ask for a bank guarantee for solar power projects so as to make the bidding affordable to small enterprises. Upset by the high expenditure at the time of bidding, enterprise owners met Power Minister Nilesh Cabral on July 7 to apprise him of the problems and succeeded in deferring the pre-bid clarification meeting to July 14, from July 10.

July 27 is the last date for online submission of the tender. The date of completion of the project is one year from awarding the contract.

Companies engaged in retailing and installing solar systems pointed out that GEDA’s role in implementing the 5MW project is limited.

“The tender document is not clear. The bidder has to do the leg-work by making the preliminary survey of available roofs in the state to identify suitable sites. Further the bidder has also to search for customers, take road permits, etc. Since GEDA is not providing any backup support it must not charge exorbitantly in the bidding process,” said one solar power unit owner.

The 5MW grid connected solar project is for setting up rooftop PV power plants in the residential sector. Customers will be provided with operation and maintenance contract for five years. The tender for the project was issued on June 26, by GEDA.

The project is to encourage solar power in housing colonies. It allows several companies to bid separately with a minimum bid of 100 kwh per company.

During the meeting with the power minister, solar power units in the state also expressed their dissatisfaction with the delay in releasing the subsidy money owed to prosumers of solar power in the state.

Industry sources said that prosumers of solar power are due to receive as subsidy 50 per cent of the capital cost of the project. The subsidy is to be disbursed by GEDA and delay in receiving it will discourage consumers from going in for solar power projects, according to unit owners.