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Rajasthan Invites Solar-Power Bids After 11-Month Delay

India’s Rajasthan state called for bids to set up 200 megawatts of solar-power projects after delaying the process for almost a year.

The state is auctioning contracts for 100 megawatts of photovoltaic plants and 100 megawatts of solar-thermal plants, according to bidding documents posted on the website of the state-run Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corp.

While the northwestern state, which has some of India’s most promising terrain for sun power, called for bids last December, it never carried out the auction. Bids this time are due by Jan. 11 and will be opened the same day, according to the documents.

Rajasthan receives on average the most solar irradiation in India after the neighboring state of Gujarat, according to a joint study by the India Meteorological Department and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Contracts are available for photovoltaic projects of 5 or 10 megawatts each and for solar-thermal plants of 50 megawatts each. Solar thermal technology uses sunlight to heat liquids that produce steam for generators, while photovoltaic plants use panels to turn sunlight directly into power.

Companies can bid for both types and also import equipment and technology for their projects, according to the agency’s rules.

Developers will have a year to complete photovoltaic plants and two years to complete solar-thermal plants, it said.

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