India’s Solar Auction Activity Falls 55% in October While Tenders Rise 25%

Solar project auction activity in October 2017 witnessed a steep 54.9% decline while tenders were up 25.3 percent compared to September 2017 in India.

Major Tenders

The Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) tendered a 100 MW grid-connected solar project to be developed on the premises of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) in Bathinda, Punjab.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) tendered 200 MW of grid-connected solar under the domestic content requirement (DCR) category on behalf of Coal India Limited (CIL).

India Solar Tenders and Auctions in October (MW)

Major Auctions

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) auctioned a 250 MW grid-connected solar project under the DCR category. In the auction, ₹3.14/kWh was the lowest tariff quoted.

In the largest grid-connected solar with a battery energy storage system (BESS) auction ever held in India, the Neyvveli Lignite Corporation India awarded a 20 MW solar project along with the required BESS of 28 MWh. The lowest tariff quoted in the auction was ₹2.988 billion (~$45.6 million) for the entire 20 MW system with BESS.

India’s solar pipeline was adversely affected during the month by the imposition of a new customs duty on imported solar panels by ports, the ongoing anti-dumping investigation, higher module prices, PPA cancellations, and states forcing tariff renegotiations.

In some cases, power purchase agreements (PPAs) have not yet been signed for projects that were auctioned six months ago, setting a negative precedent. While, in other cases, agencies have cancelled tenders in the hopes of receiving a lower tariffs and in others, the agencies cancelled tenders after developers failed to show interest after several extensions.

“Developers have become selective about which tenders they bid for, as it has become difficult to sign PPAs even after an auction is won and there is no guarantee that developers won’t be asked for a lower tariff than the one agreed upon initially,” said Priya Sanjay, Managing Director of Mercom India.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, cumulative solar installations in India have now surpassed 17 GW as of September 2017, with over 7 GW installed in first nine months of 2017.

Image credit: Mercom India