ACME Bags SECI’s 3GW Solar Auction At Rs.2.44 Yet Again

ACME emerged as the lowest bidder in the latest auction held by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for its 3GW Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected photovoltaic (PV) project.

This is the third time the Indian solar firm ACME has matched its bid of Rs.2.44, the first time being in May 2017 for the SECI Bhadla project in Rajasthan and the second time was a few weeks ago when it bagged 500MW as a part of the ISTS solar project. This time the solar firm won 600MW at the L1 tariff. Seen another way, Rs 2.44 seems to be holding up as a pretty strong floor on bids, despite the drop in module prices from China.

“We are excited to win this project and consistently offering most competitive tariff, this project will encourage us in our endeavour to bring green energy in the country,” said Manoj Upadhyay, founder and chairman, ACME Group.

This news comes right after the UPNEDA’s 1GW solar auction saw the L1 tariff rise to Rs.3.48 PER Kwh, which was won by Mahoba Solar Private Limited (Adani Group). IN fact, there is a serious chance of this tender being cancelled, due to other conditions put forward by the successful bidders.

“We were expecting tariffs to go below Rs.2.44/kWh mark, but then no one can predict what will happen. Within a week, there have been so many fluctuations in tariffs,” said an official from SECI.

The tariffs quoted in this auction ranged between a high of Rs.2.90 (~$0.0423)/kWh and a low of Rs.2.44 (~$0.0355)/kWh a Rs.0.46/kWh difference between the lowest and highest bid.

As per reports, a total of 12 bidders had submitted technical bids totalling 5,100 MW against the tendered capacity of 3 GW. However, only 11 out of the 12 bidders, qualified as a few had to drop out of the bidding to stop further fall in tariffs.

The other bidders include; Azure Power who bid for 300 MW and quoted a tariff of Rs.2.64 (~$0.0385)/kWh, therefore emerging as the L2 bidder.

Rutherford Solar Farms (Canadian Solar) quoted a tariff of Rs.2.70 (~$0.0394)/kWh to develop 200 MW. Adani Green and ReNew Power both quoted a tariff of Rs.2.71 (~$0.0395)/kWh to develop 300 MW and 500 MW respectively. SBE Renewables (SoftBank) also quoted a tariff of Rs.2.71 (~$0.0395)/kWh to develop 1,800 MW but was awarded 1,100 MW.

It is worthwhile to note while ACME was the L1 bidder, SoftBank’s 1,100 MW project is the single largest capacity bid in India to date in a reverse auction.

The issued tender for 3,000 MW which, was issued earlier this year stated that each competitor could apply for projects of at least 50MW, with a maximum bid for 1800 MW, until 17 August 2018. Furthermore, it stated that SECI will sign 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the bid winners, and the maximum bidding price was set at INR2.93/kWh (roughly US$4.27c/kWh).

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