Three companies—SunEdison, Thermax and Azure—have been named successful bidders for putting up rooftop solar power projects in four cities—Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Gurgaon—in a tender floated by the government-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
Azure Power India Pvt Ltd will put up 0.5MW in each of the four cities. Thermax will put up 1MW each in Bangalore and Chennai, while SunEdison, through its subsidiary, SEI Green Technology Pvt Ltd, will put up 0.5MW each in Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi.
In all, the three companies will put up 5.5MW in the four cities.
The tender is a result of the government of India's desire to foster rooftop projects. As a first step in the direction, it floated a tender through SECI for 10MW of projects to be put up across six cities.
Projects worth 5.5MW may sound tiny, but rooftop solar projects are typically small, and are usually meant to provide energy to the building on whose roof they are put up.
However, the rooftop projects that would be put up under the SECI tender are different in nature. The project developers, such as SunEdison, Azure and Thermax, put up the projects on rented roofs and supply the electricity to the grid.
This rent-a-roof concept is still nascent in India, though SECI is not the first to try it out. Last year, the Government of Gujarat selected SunEdison and Azure to put up 2.5MW each in the city of Gandhinagar. The projects have come up over a hundred roofs.