New Delhi: The central government has issued a new tender for solar power equipment manufacturing capacity totaling 2 gigawatts, the latest attempt to spur its domestic industry after two earlier efforts failed to rouse investor interest.

The new tender, issued by the state-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India, seeks four projects for module, cell, ingot and wafer manufacturing with annual capacity of 500 megawatts each, with each plant accompanied by up to 1.5 gigawatts of generating solar capacity.

New to this tender is the option to propose lower capacities for the associated generation projects. The tariffs paid would be capped at at 2.75 a kilowatt-hour for 25 years, similar to the previous tenders. Bids are due 26 August.

India has failed to jump-start its solar equipment manufacturing sector through tenders and a safeguard duty to protect it from cheaper Chinese imports. The country’s first tender in May 2018 was downsized and delayed multiple times. It was replaced by a smaller version in January, which was also delayed several times before being cancelled.

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