ACME Solar Wins SECI Auction to Develop 50 MW of Solar Projects Quoting ₹3.38/kWh

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has auctioned 50 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed in Gujrai Solar Park, located in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh.

ACME Solar Holdings emerged as the winner of the auction by quoting a tariff of ₹3.38 (~$0.0502)/kWh to develop the entire Gujrai Solar Park of 50 MW capacity.

A SECI official confirmed that ACME Solar Holdings has won the auction to develop 50 MW Gujrai Solar Park. “There were three bidders for 50 MW capacity: ACME Solar Holdings, Ayana Renewables, and Avaada Power. Out of these three, ACME Solar Holdings and Ayana Renewables were selected for the financial bidding,” added the SECI official.

The tariff quoted in this auction is only ₹0.05 (~$0.00074)/kWh less than the tariff ceiling specified by SECI for this tender. SECI had fixed ₹3.43 (~$0.0510)/kWh as the upper tariff ceiling for this tender. Moreover, the tariff quoted in this auction is 0.56 (~$0.0083)/kWh more than the ₹2.82 (~$0.0416)/kWh quoted by SoftBank to win SECI’s 200 MW auction for Pavagada Solar Park, located in Karnataka’s Tumkur district.

When asked about the tariff, Mercom’s source at ACME Solar Holdings said, “SECI had been trying to auction this project for a long time but had found no takers. The terrain is tough, irradiation is low compared to other locations. But this tariff makes sense to us (ACME Solar Holdings) as we take this project as a step ahead in our journey to provide clean power.”

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, ACME has a portfolio of over 1.1 GW of large-scale solar projects in operation, and an under development pipeline of over 1 GW.

ACME Solar Holdings will have 12 months from the effective date of the power purchase agreement (PPA) to commission the project. The PPAs will be signed within one month of the issue of Letter of Intent (LoI). SECI will sell the power to Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL).

The capacity auctioned (50 MW) was part of a larger tender to develop 275 MW of grid-connected solar PV parks across Uttar Pradesh. These projects were tendered under the government’s National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase-II Batch-IV.

Talking about the remaining capacities which are yet to be auctioned, the SECI official said, “Today, (June 8, 2018) we are auctioning 75 MW out of the remaining capacity. Further auction dates haven’t been finalized yet.”

This is the second large-scale solar PV project ACME Solar Holdings has won in this quarter. In May 2018,  ACME Solar Holdings won the bid to develop 250 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects in the auction held by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for the development of 1 GW of grid-connected solar in Maharashtra.