Two of India’s leading solar power developers have managed to win possibly the largest capacities ever awarded in a single tender in the country.
Acme Solar and Azure Power managed to secure the rights to develop 600 megawatts of capacity each in the largest solar power tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India to date. The tender is jointly the largest tender issued in the country ever. Tenders with 2 gigawatts of capacity each were issued by the states of Jharkhand and Telangana.
The tender was issued in January this year, and attracted bids worth 2.95 gigawatts in the final round of auction from eight developers. Acme Solar and Azure Power each placed successful bids to develop 600 megawatt capacity. While Acme Solar placed the lowest-bid of Rs 2.44/kWh (3.55¢/kWh), Azure Power secured the capacity at Rs 2.53/kWh (3.69¢/kWh).
The bid of Rs 2.44/kWh (3.55¢/kWh) is jointly the lowest-ever in Indian solar power market. Acme Solar had placed a bid of Rs 2.44/kWh (3.55¢/kWh) for a 200 megawatt solar power project in the state of Rajasthan. The project is being developed in the Bhadla solar power park.
“With consistently offering most competitive tariff and highest solar power generation; ACME has become the leader in solar power generation in India. This has entrusted a huge responsibility on us to chart the future ahead in solar power in India. I am confident that with this addition of 600MW capacity, ACME will strive to achieve highest efficiency in solar power generation and strengthen its partnership with the Government in building a strong nation & economy.” – Shri Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Founder and Chairman ACME Group
Other successful bidders include Shapoorji Pallonji (250 megawatts), Hero Future Energies (250 megawatts), and Mahindra Susten (250 megawatts). Adani Green Energy also placed a bid for 500 megawatts, but managed to secure only 50 megawatts due to over-subscription of the tender. ReNew Power Ventures and Fortum India, which bid for 250 megawatts each, failed to win any capacity due to higher tariff bid.
SB Energy and EDEN Renewable had also submitted technical bids to set up 600 megawatts and 250 megawatts, respectively, but did not participate in the financial bidding round.
This tender was the first in a long list of similar tenders that have already been launched and will be launched in the future by SECI. Under the conditions of these tenders, project developers will be free to choose the site for the project with no direct help from the government machinery. The developers will also have to apply for connectivity to the inter-state transmission network.
The reasons for such low tariff bids are multi-fold. One, the developers are free to set up projects wherever they want, and the capacity on offer is very large. Second, the power purchase agreements will be signed with SECI — a government-owned company — which represents very low risk. Third, no charges for transmission of solar power across different states.
Over the last few weeks, SECI launched a second tender with the same conditions and offered 3 gigawatts of capacity. Updates on technical bids submitted against it are awaited.
At the time of publication, comments from Acme Solar and Azure Power were awaited.
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