Gujarat High Court Gives Go-Ahead to GUVNL’s 500 MW Wind Auction

The Gujarat High Court has ruled in favor of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam limited (GUVNL) and given it the go-ahead to conduct a 500 MW wind auction. The decision comes after the High Court dismissed a petition filed by the Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA) that had asked the court to intervene in GUVNL’s auction.

The general manager for GUVNL told Mercom, “It is a huge relief and a reminder that obstacles in the path of development will be removed swiftly. The High Court of Gujarat has dismissed the IWEA petition and provided an extension of seven days within which the IWEA must appeal the order. If the IWEA does not appeal, we can go ahead with the auction as directed by the High Court.”

When asked about the reason for IWEA’s petition, the general manager for GUVNL replied, “The IWEA had filed a petition stating that there were no Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) regulations pertaining to wind auctions in Gujarat and that the GERC tariff order of ₹4.19/kWh is valid up to March 31, 2019, so there should be no reverse auctions and power purchase agreements (PPAs) should be signed at the GERC rate of ₹4.19/kWh.”

Further commenting, the general manager for GUVNL said, “Now is the time for competitive auctions, the rates are going down and the technology is becoming even better. The GERC understood that and allowed the auction in the first place, so the IWEA must start thinking according to the times. Even in Tamil Nadu they had petitioned against the wind auction.”

With the launch of reverse auctions in India, the wind power tariff recently dropped below ₹3 (~$0.0459)/kWh for the first time, with the lowest winning bid of ₹2.64 (~$0.0413)/kWh quoted in the second 1 GW wind auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Following the steep drop in tariffs, government agencies now only want to procure wind power though reverse auctions.

Talking about the expected completion date for GUVNL’s 500 MW wind action, the general manager replied, “The tentative date is November 15, 2017, by this evening the exact date will be on our website. We have received technical bids aggregating 2,139 MW, so this auction will be a success.”

Background

In June 2017, GUVNL issued a tender to develop 500 MW of wind across the state of Gujarat.

In October, after petitioning GERC and not getting an expected response, IWEA asked the High Court of Gujarat to intervene in GUVNL’s 500 wind auction.

On October 23, 2017, at the behest of IWEA, the High Court issued an order stating, “The entire competitive bidding process pursuant to the impugned order will be subject to further orders passed by this court in this petition on October 30, 2017, and further subsequent dates.”

On October 30, 2017, the High Court of Gujarat summoned GUVNL to explain the matter.