India Cuts Wind Tender Size Due To Transmission Constraints

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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) continues to face problems with its national-level solar and wind energy tenders. The company has now been forced to reduce the capacity on offer for the fifth national-level wind energy tender.

According to several media reports, the SECI has curtailed the size of its fifth national-level wind energy tender from 2 gigawatts to 1.2 gigawatts. Substantial under-subscription was witnessed for this tender, with bidders offering to set up just 1.2 gigawatts capacity. A number of bidders reportedly pointed to the lack of adequate transmission capacity for these projects as the reason for non-submission of bids. 

Four developers — Alfanar Energy, ReNew Power, Sprng Energy, and Adani Green Energy — submitted bids to develop 300 megawatts of capacity each. All these developers have been active and successful bidders in the four completed national-level wind energy tenders.

Most the projects won in the first four wind energy auctions are being set up in either Tamil Nadu or Gujarat — the two leading states in terms of operational wind energy capacity. Both are also, reportedly, suffering from low transmission capacity availability to support new wind energy projects.

To address the issue, SECI has reportedly written to Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), India’s largest transmission network implementor. SECI shared its tentative timeline to auction wind, solar and hybrid capacity up to 2021. It is surprising that such a communication was not made earlier so as to avoid the current situation.

SECI, nonetheless, seems confident with the sixth national-level wind energy tender where it will offer 2.5 gigawatts of capacity, making it the largest wind energy tender in India’s history.

The government will have to ensure that the transmission capacity is increased in sync with the commissioning timelines of the auctioned capacity. The 6 gigawatt wind energy capacity auctioned so far will be commissioned in stages between 2019 and 2020.

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