The Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) has auctioned 85 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed across the state.
APDCL has awarded 75 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to Azure Power and 10 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to Maheswari Mining and Energy Pvt. Ltd.
In January 2018, APDCL had floated tenders for the development of 100 MW (4X25 MW) of ground-mounted solar PV projects under build own operate (BOO) basis in four separate regions spread across the state of Assam.
The lowest tariffs discovered for the four regions are ₹3.70 (~$0.0552)/kWh, ₹3.24 (~$0.0483)/kWh, ₹3.19 (~$0.0476)/kWh and ₹3.17 (~$0.0473)/kWh.
According a media release, Azure Power will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with APDCL at a weighted average tariff of ₹3.37 (~$0.0503)/kWh.
Assam has seen a significant increase in power demand in recent years and has a shortage of electricity capacity. The state has a peak power deficit of 4.2 percent and the energy demand growth was recorded to be 9 percent during the year ending March 2018. APDCL currently serves a quickly growing consumer base of more than 3.3 million.
This tender was announced shortly after Assam joined the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) program and accrued a net benefit of ~₹16.63 billion (~$243.6 million) to the state. According to the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC), APDCL’s Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) compliance decreased by 7 percent between financial year (FY) 2015-16 and FY 2016-17. The solar RPO for the state of Assam is set at 5 percent for FY 2018-19.
Soon after this tender announcement, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) tendered 70 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects that are set to be developed in the Amguri Solar Park in Assam’s Sivasagar district.
The state of Assam is one of the least solarized states in India with a meagre 0.5 MW of projects as of March 2018.