Will Gujarat’s next big solar tender see records fall again?

GUVNL has invited EOI's for 1 GW solar capacity at Dholera which falls within Ahmedabad district , slated to be India's largest solar farm eventually. Final selection of developers for the projects will be through competitive bidding followed by reverse e-auction.

The Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) via the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has invited expression of interest (EoI) from project developers to develop 1,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects in the park. the region, which boasts of quality infrastructure is expected to see a renewed pressure for lower bids.

The deadline for submitting EoI is October 15, 2018. The final selection of developers for the projects will be through competitive bidding followed by reverse e-auction. Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) will be the nodal agency for the development of the solar park. GUVNL will procure the power from the solar PV projects.

The project being worked in a collaboration between The Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL), Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL), Gujarat Electric Transmission Corporation (GETCO), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is expected to attract investments worth ₹25,000 crores and provide employment opportunities to more than 20,000 individuals. And upon completion is expected to span over 27,000 acres across the Dholera plains of Gujarat.

Earlier in July, we reported that the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) in Gujarat was expected to issue its first 1,000 MW tender in August.

Back in June, the Indian government announced that it had given a go ahead to the country’s largest ever solar farm, to be set up in Gujarat. The approval came after assent from the state government of Gujarat in April for the same. The planning permissions were granted by the government for what is to become the country’s biggest and globally one of the largest solar farms upon its completion. The approval for the 5,000 megawatts (MW) solar farm was announced by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, stating that the first phase of the project of 1,000 MW will be put out to accept tenders very soon.

Gujarat government is also keen on adopting hybrid power projects which will work around the day and take advantage of the states coastline blessed with strong winds and abundant sunlight. The government recently announced a new solar plus wind hybrid power policy in a bid to promote the simultaneous production of wind and solar power in the state. The state government has also planned a 200 MW wind park with an investment of ₹1400 crores in Dholera.

M.K. Das, the principal secretary in the government of Gujarat, said, “We expect very good response as the capacity we are offering is massive, which will not only give economies of scale to developers, but also benefit from development happening in the Dholera region.” In short, ever lower bids. It may be noted that the wind energy sector has struggled to get back on a growth path ever since the bid of Rs 2.43 per unit  for another tendr by GUVNL, back in December 2017. Sprng Energy was the winning bidder there, and the pressure to stay close to that price has taken a toll so far, with cancellations, poor level of participation and more.

The past year saw many tenders but the state only managed to add around 280 MW to its solar capacity, a number far off from what is expected from a state bound to flourish under renewables.


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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a correspondent at iamrenew.com and writes on renewable energy and sustainability. As an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he also works as a staff writer for saurenergy.com.

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