In 2018, over 13 GW of solar capacity was auctioned through the year with the lowest discovered tariff in these auctions recorded at ₹2.44 (~$0.0355)/kWh, which has quoted four times in 2018 and has been the lowest solar tariff the country has seen so far since 2017.
With new complexities such as safeguard duty, increasing land prices, increased borrowing costs, ISTS connectivity issues among others the lowest bids in India in 2018 did not breach the lowest tariff of ₹2.44/kWh quoted by ACME in the 500 MW Bhadla Phase-III Solar Park auction in May 2017.
Here is a quick look at the 5 lowest tariffs quoted in 2018:
In July 2018, ACME Solar quoted the lowest tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.035)/kWh for 600 MW of solar projects in the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)’s 2 GW ISTS Phase I auction.
In the same month, ACME also quoted L1 tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.035)/kWh to develop 600 MW of solar PV in SECI’s 3 GW ISTS-connected solar PV auction, which was tendered in February 2018. Later, of the total 3 GW auctioned capacity, 2.4 GW was canceled due to a large difference in the tariff price quoted by the developers.
In September 2018, Aditya Birla Renewables emerged as the L1 bidder by quoting a tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.035)/kWh to develop 100 MW of solar PV capacity in the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL)’s 500 MW Phase II auction. Giriraj Renewables (Avaada) also quoted the same tariff to develop 300 MW of solar projects.
In the SECI’s 2 GW ISTS Phase I auction following the lowest tariff quoted of ₹2.44 (~$0.035)/kWh quoted by ACME Solar, Shapoorji Pallonji managed to win 250 MW by bidding at ₹2.52 (~$0.0361)/kWh which was the second lowest tariff in 2018.
The third lowest tariff of ₹2.53 (~$0.0362)/kWh was quoted by Hero Future Energies and Mahindra Susten to develop 250 MW each, whereas Azure Power quoted the same tariff to develop 600 MW of the SECI’s 2 GW ISTS Phase I auction.
Mahoba Solar (Adani) which had placed a bid for 500 MW succeeded in winning only 50 MW at the fourth lowest tariff of ₹2.54 (~$0.037)/kWh also in SECI’s 2 GW ISTS Phase I auction.
The fifth lowest tariff of ₹2.59 (~$0.0372)/kWh was quoted in the auction held by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to develop 2 GW of ISTS Solar PV projects. ACME Solar quoted the L1 tariff of ₹2.59 (~$0.0372)/kWh to develop 600 MW. Shapoorji Pallonji and Azure Power matched the L1 tariff to develop 500 MW and 300 MW respectively.
Correction: The second lowest tariff of ₹2.45 (~$0.0351)/kWh quoted by Azure Power in GUVNL auction has been removed. Azure Power is not building the 100 MW project in Gujarat. The company has decided to exercise option to refuse the project allotment based on the clause in the RfS. The article has been updated accordingly.