Clean Power

Published on December 15th, 2015 | by Saurabh Mahapatra

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SoftBank-Led Joint Venture Secures First Solar Power Project In India At Record-Low Tariff

December 15th, 2015 by  

SBG Cleantech, a three-way joint venture between Japan’s SoftBank, Taiwan’s Foxconn, and India’s Bharti Enterprises, has registered its first win in India’s highly competitive solar power market.

SBG Cleantech grabbed the entire 350 megawatts on offer in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh through atender which was floated by India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited, under the National Solar Mission.

SBG Cleantech quoted a bid of Rs 4.63/kWh (US¢7.12/kWh), tying it with the lowest-ever solar PV bid in India placed recently by SunEdison to secure 500 MW capacity in the same state. Incidentally, that auction was the first where SBG Cleantech had also participated. The company failed to secure at capacity as it had placed a bid of Rs 4.80/kWh (US¢7.38/kWh).

In the latest auction, only three other companies quoted bids of less than Rs 5.00/kWh (US¢7.69/kWh). Subsidiaries of Trina Solar and First Solar also took part in the auction. Media reports make no mention of participation by SunEdison.

While some may, in some cases rightly, question the financial viability of projects with such low tariffs, conditions associated with the recent two auctions do offer some positives for the winners. Both, SunEdison and SBG Cleantech will sell power to NTPC Limited which is government-owned and financially in a far better position that the distribution utilities of various states. SunEdison had recently justified its aggressive bidding by claiming that financial institutions might be lenient while offering debt as the power will be procured by NTPC. 

SBG Cleantech plans $20 billion investment in India’s solar power market to developer at least 20 GW capacity. The company had recently signed an agreement with the government of Andhra Pradesh to set up 2 GW solar power and 1 GW wind energy capacity.


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About the Author

A young solar enthusiast from India keeping an eye on all regulatory, policy and market updates from one of the fastest emerging solar power markets in the world.



  • JamesWimberley

    Is there any data on recent contracts for new coal capacity? Not the very low-priced legacy plants.

    • Nolan Thiessen

      I can’t find the results of recent coal auction prices, but this page has quite a bit of information such as:
      “We estimate that a PPA of Rs5.4-5.70/kWh would be required, plus price indexation of 4% pa to justify the construction of such a US$4bn coal-fired power project.”

      http://www.ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IEEFA-Briefing-Note_IndianElectricityCoalPricing_4-May-2014.pdf

      • JamesWimberley

        It’s a good document, but focused on electricity generation using imported Australian coal, which it concludes cannot compete with renewables. The paragraphs on Coal India confirm my clear impression that the mastodon cannot deliver the vast quantities of cheap coal implied by the UMPP financial assumptions. Half the gas plants are idle. The nuclear programme is an expensive bad joke. The big reason India is going for wind and solar is they actually work as advertised.

      • Frank

        Thanks! I really wanted some information on what the chances of significant coal going up in India. I knew the ultra mega coal plants stalled over prices, but I didn’t know if that was temporary or not.

  • Jamset

    When did this auction take place?

    Is it different to the one Mr Goyal tweeted about because for the first time ever the bid was below 5 rupees per kWh?

  • sir_tech

    More details about this solar park coming up in Andhra Pradesh:
    The solar project, under the flagship Jawaharlal Nehru National
    Solar Mission (JNNSM), is located in Andhra Pradesh in the state-owned
    solar park, which provides land and facilities such as roads, drainage
    and evacuation to developers.

    Also, bids will be opened today (Dec 16th) for another 150 MW in the same solar park which makes it a total of 1000 MW (including 500 MW by SunEdison at same price of Rs 4.63/kWh).

    Earlier this year, 250 MW solar park was allotted to different companies by NTPC in Andhra pradesh.

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