Tariff Bids Rise Further In Indian State’s Solar Power Auction

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Tariff bids by project developers continued to rise in Indian auctions, with several major developers avoiding large-scale auctions.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) auctioned 250 megawatts of solar power capacity in the western state of Maharashtra. The auction was conducted for the Dondaicha Solar Park where a total capacity of 500 megawatts is being planned.

While it is unknown at the moment about the level of participation during the technical round of bidding, only three project developers submitted bids in the financial round. A subsidiary of Solar Arise managed to secure 50 megawatts of capacity at Rs 2.87/kWh (4.12¢/kWh). Tata Power Renewable Energy, one of the largest renewable energy project developers in the private sector in India, won 100 megawatts of capacity at Rs 2.88/kWh (4.13¢/kWh).

NTPC (RE) is reported to have submitted a bid to develop the entire 250 megawatt capacity but managed to secure only 100 megawatts at Rs 2.91/kWh (4.17¢/kWh). The company is a subsidiary of India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited. This is believed to be the developer’s second win in solar power auctions in the country. NTPC (RE) had earlier participated in a 500 megawatt solar power auction organized by the SECI for the state of Uttar Pradesh in October 2018.  The company secured rights to develop 160 megawatts at a tariff of Rs 3.17/kWh (4.55¢/kWh).

The tariff bids placed in this tender are substantially higher than those witnessed in the two solar power auctions completed recently in the neighboring state of Gujarat. The state auctioned a total of 750 megawatts between the tariff range of Rs 2.65/kWh (3.8US¢/kWh) to Rs 2.89/kWh (4.15¢/kWh).

The Dondaicha Solar Park is part of the 40 gigawatt solar power park policy announced by the Indian government around three years back. The solar park will have an installed capacity of 500 megawatts. A single tender with the complete 500 megawatts of capacity was planned, however, issues related to land acquisition resulted in delay and splitting of the tender into two.

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