Results of India’s second national-level solar-wind hybrid auction are in. While capacity allocated to project developers has declined, there remains a silver lining for the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in terms of price bids.
Following the disappointing response of project developers to SECI’s second solar-wind hybrid tender, the financial bidding round of the tender was recently concluded. Only two developers, Adani Green Energy and ReNew Power, participated in the auction.
Adani Green Energy bid for 600 megawatts of capacity at a tariff of Rs 2.69/kWh (3.85¢/kWh) and was allocated the entire capacity, whereas ReNew Power, which had bid for 300 megawatts of capacity at a tariff of Rs 2.70/kWh (3.86¢/kWh), was awarded 120 megawatts of capacity.
SECI had issued a tender to auction 1.2 gigawatts of solar-wind hybrid capacity in February 2019. Earlier this month we had reported that only two developers had placed bids for a total of 900 megawatts of capacity. This was the second under-subscription for a solar-wind hybrid tender in as many instances.
Late last year, in the first such national-level tender, SECI had offered 2.4 gigawatts of capacity. Due to low interest among project developers, the size was reduced to 1.2 gigawatts. Still, bids for only 1.05 gigawatts were received from just two project developers. Finally, only 840 megawatts were allocated to two project developers — Adani Green Energy (390 megawatts) at Rs 2.69/kWh (3.83¢/kWh) and Softbank-backed SB Energy (450 megawatts) Rs 2.67/kWh (3.81¢/kWh).
The hybrid tenders have witnessed the same trend as seen in the recent wind energy tenders, at the central as well as state level. The only positive that SECI could draw from this auction is that the lowest tariff bid remained nearly unchanged.
There are only a handful of large companies working in the wind as well as solar power sectors. Names like ReNew Power, SB Energy, Adani Green Energy and Tata Power Renewable Energy are the only major players in the dual markets of solar and wind energy. While all four of these have operational solar power plants, only ReNew, Adani and Tata have operational wind power plants as well. SB Energy has successfully participated in just one of the 12 wind energy auctions held in India so far. The company is secured 325 megawatts in an auction held in February 2019.
It is clear that SECI would have to make some changes to its policies to offer solar-wind hybrid tenders in the future, but what those changes and how effective they would be remains to be seen.