India has invited renewable energy project developers to submit bids in a new tender for the development of 1.2 GW of capacity.

The rules call for projects that can alleviate congestion on the grid at peak times – effectively dictating that the projects incorporate energy storage capacity.

The tender – issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) – follows earlier failed bids in India to procure energy storage capacity. Developers can submit bids for solar or wind capacity, or hybrid solar-wind projects.

Project sizes can range from 50 MW to 300 MW, with companies allowed to bid for a maximum capacity of 600 MW. Successful bids will be awarded 25-year power purchase agreements with SECI, and projects must be capable of dispatching power to the grid for at least six hours each day.

According to SECI, the inability of renewable generators to dispatch energy to the grid at times when it is most needed is a key factor in preventing wind and solar from displacing and replacing fossil fuels.

Developers will be required to commission the projects within 18 months from the date of signing the power purchase agreement, SECI said.