The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) recently floated a tender for 500 MW of solar power in Maharashtra. However, the responses were lukewarm at best. There was a significant reduction in the number of technical bid submissions as compared to recent tenders in the country, as per Bridge to India’s figures.

For a total capacity of around 1.8 GW in the tender, only 14 developers submitted bids. As against this, 30 players had submitted bids for 5.5 GW of capacity in a recently held tender by National Thermal Power Corporation in Andhra Pradesh. According to Bridge to India, the bids in this tender are likely to be higher than those in recent auctions due to the projects being developed outside solar parks, which makes land acquisition something of a challenge. The challenge is amplified in the case of larger projects, hampering benefits arising out of economies of scale.

The consultancy also says the industry might also view SECI as a higher risk off-taker than NTPC. Moreover, increasing module prices and a depreciating rupee may cause an upward movement in tariff bids.

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Source: The Hindu

The Maharashtra project will work on a fixed tariff of INR 4.43/kWh, significantly lower than the previous rate of INR 5.43/kWh. A Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of up to INR 10 million per MW is also involved. Further, under the domestic content requirement, 50 MW of projects will be reserved for modules with VGF of up to INR 13.1 million per MW.

SECI’s upcoming tenders in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are also expected to see subdued competition.

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