NTPC Bags 160-MW Solar Capacities in UPNEDA’s 500-MW Auction at Rs 3.17 per unit

Higher land and borrowing costs have kept solar power tariff above Rs 3 at the UPNEDA 500-MW grid- connected solar auction

At the recent solar auctions held recently by Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), the tariffs quoted by the developers remained above Rs 3 mark.

The L1 tariff/lowest bid was quoted Rs 3.17 for the 500 MW grid connected solar projects in the state. The lowest tariff was quoted by NTPC and Maheshwari Mining and Energy.

This is the first time NTPC has participated in tariff-based bidding of Solar projects. The NTPC won 160 MW of Solar capacities (140 MW at a tariff of Rs 3.17/Kwh and 20 MW at a tariff of Rs 3.21/Kwh). The 160 MW of solar projects shall be set up by NTPC under EPC mode and shall add to the installed capacity of NTPC.

The reverse auction saw similar trend where companies quoted two different tariffs for different capacity blocks.

Adani also emerged as another large winner in the auction, winning two bids for 50 MW each. Adani quoted Rs 3.19/kWh to develop 50 MW and also quoted Rs 3.22/kWh to develop another 50 MW of solar PV capacity.

Among others, according to UPNEDA officials, Sukhbir Agro quoted Rs 3.20/kWh to develop 50 MW, SolarArise quoted Rs 3.21/kWh to develop 50 MW and EDEN Renewable also quoted Rs 3.21/kWh to develop 50 MW.

However, Giriraj Renewables had bid for three 100 MW blocks but won a single 50 MW block. Giriraj had quoted Rs. 3.23/kWh for this block.

The Uttar Pradesh government Minister and officials at the recent REInvest 2018 event had invited developers to invest in the state to reach the 10,700MW target set for the state by the Indian Government. The recent delays and cancellations of Solar and floating solar PV projects, has shaken the confidence of the investors.

Generally, the benchmark tariff is kept below Rs 3 per unit by the nodal agencies for conducting auctions for solar energy project across the country. The quoted tariff, which did not plummet below Rs 3 levels is indicative that developers want to maintain their profit margins. Higher land and borrowing costs have kept solar power tariff above Rs 3.  Many developers have complained that the pre-bidding processes also bleed the developers and if the auctions are scrapped, it further adds to their expenses, even before the project commissions.

The 500 MW solar energy capacities for which auction was concluded on Tuesday was out of the cancelled 1GW capacities and the UPNEDA is reportedly, to come out with tender of another 500 GW capacities soon.

Related story: SECI finds prices too hot to handle, cancels multiple allocations

Also Read: MNRE to set cap for India’s solar tariff at ₹ 2.5 and ₹ 2.68

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