The appetite of solar power developers has not at all dwindled in the Indian market as a recent tender witnessed massive over subscription.

Two tenders for the development of 750 megawatts capacity in the western state of Rajasthan received overwhelming response from Indian and foreign companies. The tenders are for the development of 500 megawatts and 250 megawatts block at the Bhadla solar power park.

The 500 megawatt block is being built by IL&FS, an infrastructure and finance company. Adani Enterprises is developing the 250 megawatts block.

Some of the prominent Indian companies vying the project include Torrent Power, Aditya Birla Group, Adani Enterprises, Mahindra Renewables, Welspun Energy, Indiabulls, Hero Group, ReNew Power Ventures, Acme Cleantech, Azure Power and Mytrah Energy.

A number of foreign companies also placed bids, including EDF Energy, Solairedirect (a subsidiary of Engie), Alfanar of Saudi Arabia, Fortum, SB Energy (backed by Softbank) and Lightsource.

Fortum recently commissioned a 70 megawatt project at the Bhadla solar power park. The project was awarded to it at Rs 4.34/kWh, the lowest at that time, in an auction organised by NTPC Limited.

The financial bids for these blocks are expected to be extremely competitive and would likely result in a new low for the Indian market. Solar power bids in India have fallen by 73% since 2010 when the first auctions were held.

Recently, the 750 megawatt auction for Rewa solar power park in Madhya Pradesh closed at a levelised tariff of Rs 3.30/kWh. This was quickly topped by the another auction held for 250 megawatt block in the Kadapa solar power park in Andhra Pradesh. The tender closed at Rs 3.15/kWh tariff for a period of 25 years.

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