Following an overwhelming response from project developers to a 750 megawatt solar PV tender in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, the financial tariff bids have been very promising for the Indian solar power sector that continues to face serious challenges.
Tariff bids for the latest solar power auction for the state of Rajasthan were close to the lowest-ever bids seen in India. The auction was conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on behalf of Rajasthan and the projects will be set up at sites outside any government-approved solar power parks.
The tender was issued by SECI earlier this year and attracted bids for 1.1 gigawatts for a subscription of 1.5 times. This, however, was on expected lines given the conductive land leasing policies for project developers, ample solar radiation, and sufficient existing and planned transmission infrastructure available for power plants.
Of the six developers that submitted technical bids four were finally able to secure rights to develop projects. Hero Future Energies secured the largest project of the lot — 250 megawatts. Mahindra Susten won 200 megawatts while NTPC Renewables (a subsidiary of India’s largest power generation company) secured 160 megawatts. One of India’s leading solar power project developers, and NYSE-listed, Azure Power bid for 100 megawatts but managed to secure only 60 megawatts of capacity.
All project developers submitted tariff bids of Rs 2.50/kWh (3.59¢/kWh). Ayana Renewables (a subsidiary of UPC Renewables) and ReNew Power were the only bidders that either did not participate in the auction or were not able to secure any capacity.
The tariff bids are marginally higher than the lowest bid seen in a similar auction for the state of Rajasthan, also by SECI in March this year. Project developers had quoted the lowest bid of Rs 2.48/kWh (3.56¢/kWh) in that tender. Companies like Fortum Solar, Azure Power and Acme Solar were the major winners in that tender.
Still, this marginally higher tariff bids is still lower than the lowest tariff bid seen in the recently concluded 1.2 gigawatt fourth national-level solar power tender by the SECI. Companies bid Rs 2.54/kWh (3.65¢/kWh) in that tender.
Photo by Carl Attard from Pexels
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