Finally, a ray of hope for the Indian renewable energy market with massive oversubscription in the latest and fourth national-level solar power tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. The massive oversubscription reported for this tender comes after capacity offered in a slew of state and central-level tenders remained unsubscribed by project developers.
Reports are in on the technical bids submitted by project developers against the 1.2 gigawatt solar power tender announced in February 2019. The technical round of bidding, and the announcement of results, seems to have been delayed due to the announcement of general elections in India. However, the delayed action has not dampened the spirits of the participating project developers.
A total of seven project developers submitted bids to set up a cumulative capacity of 1.9 gigawatts, around 1.5 times the offered capacity of 1.2 gigawatts.
The largest bid has been placed by Avaada Energy, an Indian renewable energy project developer. The company recently raised around $140 million from multiple international development banks. Five companies — NYSE-listed Azure Power, SoftBank-backed SB Energy, UK’s CDC Group subsidiary Ayana Renewable Power, UPC Solar (a subsidiary of UPC Renewables Group), and one of India’s largest renewable energy developers ReNew Power — submitted bids of 300 megawatts each. Mahindra Solar, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra Group, submitted a bid of 250 megawatts.
SECI has set a tariff bid threshold of Rs 2.65/kWh (3.79¢/kWh) which is quite competitive given the recent bidding trends seen in state-level auctions. In the third national-level solar power auction organized by SECI, winning bids were between Rs 2.55/kWh (3.65¢/kWh) and Rs 2.61/kWh (3.74¢/kWh).
SECI concluded a 250 megawatt solar power auction for the state of Maharashtra and received bids of around Rs 2.87/kWh (4.11¢/kWh). The state of Gujarat also organized two solar power auctions recently. Not only were these two tenders significantly undersubscribed, the tariff bids were comparatively higher than national-level tenders ranging from Rs 2.65/kWh (3.79¢/kWh) and Rs 2.89/kWh (4.14¢/kWh).
The maximum limit of Rs 2.65/kWh (3.79¢/kWh) was introduced by SECI after multiple project developers submitted bids between Rs 2.64/kWh (3.78¢/kWh) and Rs 2.71/kWh (3.88¢/kWh) in the largest solar power auction held in India. SECI had cancelled allocation of 2.4 gigawatts of the 3 gigawatt capacity auctioned in the first national-level solar power tender in August 2018.
The results of the fourth tender were reported just a week after results of the latest general elections were announced. A huge proponent of renewable energy, Narendra Modi’s government has returned to power with a massive majority.
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