SECI to Tender 500 MW Solar Thermal Capacity in 2024-25


The The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is set to announce a 500 megawatt (MW) solar thermal capacity tender by the end of the 2024-25 fiscal year, according to SECI Chairman R.P. Gupta. This marks a significant milestone for India’s renewable energy sector, as it will be the largest solar thermal tender to date.

Addressing the India Energy Storage Week event, Gupta highlighted the tender’s focus on advanced solar thermal technology that generates steam to power turbines. "This will be the first time in India that such a tender would be floated on this scale. The projects under the 500 MW tender will have advanced technology where steam would be generated through heat and it would also help in running turbines", Gupta stated. He emphasized the need for continuous energy supply and flexibility in integrating various renewable components.

Developers will have the freedom to design and integrate their own solutions, combining solar, wind, and energy storage to deliver round-the-clock energy. “We require energy round the clock and we let the developer find his own solution. What is the kind of solar component, the wind component, and the energy storage component which he wants to have. Let them design it and offer round the clock energy to us", Gupta elaborated.

Jishnu Barua, Chairperson of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), discussed the importance of energy storage in stabilizing the grid and reducing costs. "A lot of new developments have taken place and prices are bound to come down. Energy storage has a big role in stabilizing the grid, enhancing reliability, and optimizing the use of renewable energy", Barua noted, stressing the significance of energy transition for achieving India's Net Zero target by 2070.

Ghanshyam Prasad, Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), addressed challenges related to grid disturbances and the need for continuous renewable energy integration. "Grid is facing the challenge on the ops side, regulations are an area of challenge. In the last 14-15 months, 47 disturbances affected 1,000 MW and is going as high as 3,700 MW", Prasad said. He called for enhanced measures to improve grid stability, particularly during peak load periods in the afternoon and evening hours.

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President of the India Energy Storage Alliance, highlighted safety concerns in the rapid expansion of India's energy storage capacity. "Safety is a significant area where we need to deploy new measures and technologies. I urge the industry to not compromise on safety", he remarked, underscoring the need for a balanced approach that supports economic growth, environmental sustainability, and safety.

As India pushes forward with its renewable energy agenda, the upcoming 500 MW solar thermal tender represents a critical step towards enhancing the country's green energy infrastructure and achieving long-term energy security.