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Softbank Wins 330 Megawatts Of Capacity In India’s Undersubscribed Solar Tender

Softbank-backed SB Energy managed to grab a large portion of the capacity auctioned in the a grossly undersubscribed solar power tender in India.


Softbank-backed SB Energy managed to grab a large portion of the capacity auctioned in the a grossly undersubscribed solar power tender in India.

Image: Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica.com

The fifth edition of the national-level solar power auctions conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India yielded two winners that secured just 480 megawatts of capacity out of the originally tendered capacity of 1.2 gigawatts. The technical round of the auction was sharply undersubscribed, with major developers staying away from the tender.

GRT Jewellers and SB Energy had submitted bids for a total capacity of just 600 megawatts with no other developers participating in the technical round. Due to the undersubscription, SECI offered just 80% of the capacity it had received bids for in the technical round. The maximum allowed tariff bid in the auction was set at 2.65/kWh (3.73US¢/kWh).

The fact that renewable energy project development is not the core business of GRT Jewellers showed in its aggressive price bid. The company quoted a bid of 4.5% to the maximum allowed bid. The company picked up 130 megawatts of capacity at 2.53/kWh (3.57US¢/kWh). SB Energy, on the other hand, is among the leading renewable energy developers in India and has among the largest project pipelines. The company, a joint venture between Softbank, Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technologies, matched the maximum threshold bid and scooped nearly thrice the capacity won by GRT Jewellers. SB Energy had submitted a bid to develop 450 megawatts of capacity but managed to grab just 330 megawatts.

This is a major win for SB Energy, which lost out on some large projects when government agencies found its tariff bids very high. Earlier this year, SB Energy lost 250 megawatts of capacity when the government of Gujarat refused to allocate projects after completion of the financial bidding round.

Nearly a year back, SB Energy had placed a bid to develop 1.8 gigawatts of capacity in India’s largest solar power tender that offered developers 3 gigawatts of capacity. At the end of the technical round SB Energy had managed to grab 1.1 gigawatt of capacity but was never allocated. The SECI annulled the capacity allocation for 2.4 gigawatts out of the 3 gigawatts offered. The reason cited by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for the annulment was that some developers had formed a cartel to push up the tariff bids.

SB Energy had quoted a tariff of Rs 2.70/kWh (3.81US¢/kWh) to develop 1.8 gigawatts of capacity last year. This year, the company had quoted a tariff of Rs 2.65/kWh (the maximum allowed) to develop just 450 megawatts.

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

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