Snack Major To Stock Broker — Everyone Joins Telangana Solar Party

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It’s barely been a month since the solar bidding in Andhra Pradesh and now the neighbour state Telangana has announced the results of its own solar tender, which it had come out with back in August.

Representative Picture | Credit: Welspun Energy

The bidding has been pretty intense with the gap between the lowest and highest tariffs among awardees being very narrow, at less than 1 cent/kWh! Interestingly, First Solar managed to be both the lowest bidder (6.45 INR/kWh) as well as the most conservative bidder (6.90 INR/kWh)

While Telangana’s bidding conditions were considered to be simpler than those in Andhra, the project developers were only allowed 10 months to get their plants online. There were expectations that developers would provide quotes for smaller projects — which would fit in the tight schedule. But the results have been quite the opposite. Also, unlike Andhra, which has placed an upper limit of 100 MW per bidder, no such limit was placed here.

Renew Power (backed by Goldman Sachs), First Solar, and ACME Solar have together bagged 300 MW out of the 500 MW which were on offer. Renew Power alone has managed to get 140 MW worth of solar projects. ACME and First Solar have settled for 80 MW and 65 MW, respectively.

Mahindra EPC, part of the conglomerate Mahindra group, got 30 MW, while the French company Solar Direct has won two projects of 20 MW each. Mumbai-based stock brokers consultant Karvy also registered its presence with a project of 20 MW capacity.

But what really caught a lot of attention was a 15 MW project awarded to the snack major Haldiram. Not only that! The company has also been able to match the power tariff bid by First Solar in the project block (15 MW) awarded to it.

Even before its foray as a solar developer, Haldiram has had experience in using solar power at its own sites. It has a 1.5 MW installation in its Nagpur (India) factory which is used for frying snacks, and a 500 kW rooftop installation in Noida (near New Delhi) used for internal campus lighting.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh (from which the former was carved out) have been grappling with power deficits. As a result, both the Indian states have formulated ambitious programs to woo solar developers. We have been actively covering the competition between the two states, more on that here and here.

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Anand Upadhyay

is a Fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI, New Delhi). He tweets at @indiasolarpost. Views and opinion if any, are his own.

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