Indian State Offers 500 Megawatt Solar Capacity In New Tender

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The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has issued yet another solar power tender as it looks to catch up with other large Indian states with substantial installed solar power capacities.

The Uttar Pradesh New Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) has issued a tender calling for bids to set up 500 megawatts of solar power capacity in the state. The tender is this year’s first issued by the state, although the state had issued three tenders last year. 

The minimum capacity a developer can bid for is 5 megawatts while the maximum capacity is 500 megawatts. The maximum tariff bid allowed for this tender is Rs 3.05/kWh (4.28¢/kWh), significantly lower than the limit set in previous tenders.

Uttar Pradesh issued a tender of 1 gigawatt last year which attracted significant interest from project developers. Some of the largest solar power developers in India, including Acme Solar, Azure Power, Adani Green Energy, Eden Renewable, and Hero Future Energies had successfully bid in that tender. However, the tariff bids were much higher compared to bids in solar power auctions in other states, and at the central government level. Project developers had placed bids in the range of Rs 3.48/kWh (4.89¢/kWh) to Rs 3.55/kWh (4.98¢/kWh). The lowest bid in this Uttar Pradesh tender was at a premium of 42.6% to the lowest solar power tariff bid in India at that time.

This led to the allocation of projects under this tender to be cancelled. The Uttar Pradesh government subsequently decided to split the 1 gigawatt capacity, and auction in two tenders.

The first tender of 500 megawatts bids being submitted for 750 gigawatts. While some of the major developers stayed away from this tender, the lowest bid fell sharply to Rs 3.17/kWh (4.45¢/kWh). The maximum allowed tariff bid for this tender was Rs 3.25/kWh (4.56¢/kWh).

A second tender was issued calling bids for 550 megawatts capacity. The maximum allowed tariff bid was Rs 3.10/kWh. Again, the some of the leading developers (like ReNew Power, Acme Solar, and Azure Power) stayed away but some international developers managed to bag substantial capacity.

NTPC Limited (RE), Eden Renewable, Adani Green Energy, Avaada Power, and Tata Power Renewable Energy were the major winners in this tender. The tariff bid range in this tender was Rs 3.02/kWh (4.24¢/kWh) to Rs 3.08/kWh (4.32/kWh).

This fresh tender could see tariff bids falling below Rs 3.00/kWh (4.21¢/kWh) which is much closer to the national and state benchmark. The current lowest tariff bid stands at Rs 2.44/kWh (3.43¢/kWh), however, the new acceptable norm across the country now seems to hover around Rs 2.60-2.70/kWh (3.65-3.79¢/kWh). The latest tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has set the maximum allowed tariff bid at Rs 2.65/kWh (3.72¢/kWh).

The state of Gujarat recently auctioned 500 megawatts of capacity at the lowest bid of Rs 2.84/kWh (3.99¢/kWh), the regulators, however, are now mulling whether to cancel this tender due to the high tariff bids quoted.

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

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