A tender issued late last year by India’s largest power generators for allocation of project development rights has seen fruition.
NTPC Limited has issued a tender for the development of 250 MW solar PV power capacity late last year. The tender represents the first phase of the 1 GW solar power park planned for Anantapur in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The tender was open only for India companies.
NTPC has allocated this 250 MW capacity among 4 project developers; One of India’s leading solar equipment manufacturers and project developers Tata Power Solar has been awarded 100 MW while BHEL (a power generation equipment manufacturer), Sterling Wilson (an engineering, procurement, and construction company), and Lanco Solar Energy (solar equipment manufacturer and project developer) have been awarded 50 MW each.
All these project developers are believed to have been mandated to use Indian-made solar PV modules only. This should not be an issue for at least 3 of them as they either have module manufacturing units operating or under construction. The entire 250 MW capacity is expected to be commissioned within 12 months.
The power generation from the this solar project will be purchased by state power utilities at a levelised rate of around ¢9.5 per kWh (1 US$ = ~Rs 65).
NTPC has already floated follow-up tenders for the second phase implementation of this project. The new tender, bidding for which closed last month, is for the implementation of 500 MW capacity in blocks of 125 MW each. This tender was open to international companies as well. The company has also issued 3 more tenders of 250 MW capacity each for similar solar power parks in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana. These 3 tenders are open only to Indian companies.
NTPC has at least 3 GW of solar power capacity in pipeline which it needs to allocate for implementation through such tenders. It has signed agreements with several state governments to set up ultra mega solar power projects. NTPC plans to invest $10 billion to set up 10 GW of renewable energy capacity over the next 5 years.
While it is not clear yet, these projects could be part of Indian government’s program to set up 20 GW solar power capacity through ultra mega solar power projects across various states.