The Solar Energy Corporation of India, along with the government of Karnataka, took a major step towards the off take of the tremendous amount of solar power expected to come online soon in the country.
Five power distribution utilities in the southern state of Karnataka recently signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to acquire 1 GW of solar power from a solar power park currently under development.
The utilities will purchase electricity from SECI at Rs 4.50/kWh (US¢6.7/kWh) for a period of 25 years. The solar power is expected to be generated at the Pavagada solar park. Auction for individual projects to be set up at the park has already started.
Projects at the 2 GW solar power park shall be auctioned in units of 50 MW each. NTPC Limited, a state-owned power generation company, and SECI will hold auctions for these projects.
Recently, NTPC auctioned 500 MW capacity for the solar park. The capacity was allocated to six developers who are free to choose Indian or imported solar power modules for their projects. Adani Power, Tata Power Renewable Energy and Fortum India secured 100 MW capacity each at tariff of Rs 4.79/kWh (US¢7.9/kWh).
NTPC will also hold 100 MW auction wherein developers will be mandated to use only Indian-made solar PV modules. Apart from that NTPC has been designated to auction an additional 1 GW capacity. Power generated from this capacity will be bundled with power generated from NTPC’s own thermal power projects.
Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will also auction 400 MW capacity for the solar power park. This capacity will be allocated under the Viability Gap Funding scheme wherein developers will bid for capital cost support needed and sell power at a fixed tariff of Rs Rs 4.43/kWh (US¢6.6/kWh).