A large solar power tender launched by the west Indian state of Maharashtra has witnessed encouraging responses from some of the leading renewable energy developers in India. The tender is among the largest issued by a state in the last few months, and marks a crucial point in the current scheme of things as similar tenders have dried up at the central government level.
A total of seven project developers have offered to set up 1.9 gigawatts of capacity against the 1 gigawatt capacity offered in the tender. Avaada Energy and Adani Green Energy have proposed to set up 500 megawatts of capacity each, while Acme Solar and ReNew Power have offered to set up 300 megawatts of capacity each. Tata Power has placed a technical bid for 150 megawatts, and Orange Renewables has placed a bid for 100 megawatts.
The tender stipulates that the maximum tariff bid be Rs 2.90/kWh, increased from an initial threshold of Rs 2.80/kWh. The tender is among several similar tenders issued by Maharashtra over the last few months. The state plans to install 3.2 gigawatts of solar power capacity over the next two years. A tender of 1.4 gigawatt capacity is also currently open, and has a maximum tariff bid limit of Rs 3.10/kWh. Another tender for 1 gigawatt floating solar power capacity is also currently open.
This tender has seen participation from some of the leading renewable energy project developers in India. Their participation is significant as some of these companies had been absent from the recent few tenders. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has not issued any major tenders in the last few months. SECI had cancelled allocation of 2.4 gigawatts of 3 gigawatts tender size in August 2018 due to higher tariff bids, and reports of cartelization. Adani Green Energy, ReNew Power, and Tata Power either lost their allocated capacities or had failed to make the cut in financial bidding in this auction. No Indian companies managed to secure any capacity allocation in the recently conducted 700 megawatt Gujarat solar power tender.
There were concerns that such developments could adversely impact the confidence among project developers. The renewed participation from large companies would instill some confidence among other project developers as well as state and central governments that plan large tenders in the coming months.
SECI has come out with some large solar power tenders after a gap of few months. As the deadline to have 100 gigawatts solar power capacity operational by March 2022, SECI will launch tenders for 60 gigawatts by March 2020. It will require active participation from Indian and foreign project developers. The Maharashtra tender participation would have certainly given hopes to the government.