India’s largest power generating company, NTPC Limited, is on an expansive spree to launch solar power tenders under the country’s National Solar Mission.
Yet another large-scale solar power tender has been launched by NTPC Limited to set up a solar power park in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The tender will involve allocation of six solar power projects with 125 MW capacity each.
NTPC has successfully allocated projects in several large-scale solar power parks in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and most recently, Rajasthan. All these tenders are part of the National Solar Mission.
The last three auctions by NTPC – two in Andhra Pradesh and one in Rajasthan – have brought down solar power tariffs to record low levels. An auction of 500 MW capacity in Andhra Pradesh, results for which were announced in early November 2015, saw SunEdison secure the entire capacity at a historic low tariff of Rs 4.63/kWh (US¢6.91/kWh).
A month later, SB Energy (a three-way joint venture company between SoftBank, Foxconn, and Bharti Enterprises) matched this tariff to secure part of the 350 MW capacity on offer.
Earlier this year, NTPC announced results of yet another tender where 420 MW capacity was on offer. The solar power park is set to come up in the north-western state of Rajasthan. Another foreign project developer pushed the tariff to fresh low of Rs 4.34/kWh (US¢6.5/kWh).
A number of these solar power parks are part of India’s ultra mega solar power programme wherein over 2 dozen solar power projects will be set up across various states. The combined installed capacity of these projects will be around 20 GW. The programme is critical to India’s target to have 100 GW of operational solar power capacity by March 2022.
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