Giriraj Renewables has won the auction to develop 150 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the Pavagada Solar Park in Tumkur district of Karnataka. Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) had tendered the capacity in July 2018.
Giriraj Renewables quoted a tariff of ₹2.92 (~$0.0397)/kWh to develop three projects of 50 MW each.
When contacted, a Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL) official confirmed the completion of the auction and the issue of letter of award to Giriraj Renewables. Talking about Pavagada Solar Park, the official said, “Now, only SECI’s 200 MW needs to be auctioned out. Other than that, there are plans to expand the capacity of Pavagada by another 50 MW or so, and if it is done, then the projects will be developed in pockets of 5 MW each.”
The development of Karnataka’s Pavagada Solar Park is no small feat. The park covers 13,000 acres and is expected to have total capacity of 2 GW when it is complete. To facilitate development, the park has been divided into eight blocks of 250 MW each that will have dedicated high voltage supply lines, pooling stations, and a pooling substation for evacuation. The Pavagada Solar Park was conceptualized in February 2015 and park development began in January 2016.
In January 2018, KREDL had tendered 1,200 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to be developed at Pavagada. However, KREDL was able to auction merely 550 MW of the tendered capacity due to a poor response from bidders amid various ongoing uncertainties in the solar sector.
In April 2018, KREDL retendered 650 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed at the Pavagada Solar Park. KREDL then awarded 250 MW of solar projects each to Fortum Corporation and Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL).
Now, the remaining capacity has been awarded. It is heartening to see that in Karnataka, the state agencies are going ahead with a tariff as high as ₹2.92 (~$0.0397)/kWh while at the same time central agencies like SECI are canceling auctions citing high tariffs even when the tariffs in these auctions have been much lower than what has been discovered in this auction.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.