Over 1.4 GW of solar projects were tendered in the month of November, which is nearly half the capacity compared to October, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker. This is the lowest capacity tendered in the last three months.
Solar project auction activity also plummeted with approximately 60 MW auctioned in November, compared to around 759 MW auctioned in October.
The overall tender and auction activity declined steeply, just a few months after the imposition of the safeguard duty on the import of solar cells and modules from China and Malaysia was imposed on July 30, 2018.
According to the tender trajectory issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), approximately 30 GW is expected to be tendered in FY 2018-19. So far, 27.3 GW of capacity has already been tendered.
Back in August, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had written to the central and state governments as well as public sector implementing agencies, asking them to follow a set timetable for tendering solar projects.
According to the schedule, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) was assigned December, March, June, and September for its tender and auction activity. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and other public sector units were allocated January, April, July, and October for tender and auction activity. State agencies were expected to use February, May, August and November for their activity. Based on the activity in November none of the agencies seem to be following the MNRE directive.
Major Tenders in November
NTPC tendered 1,200 MW of interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed in the western region of the country. The projects will be developed near NTPC switchyards. NTPC tenders do not come with any fixed upper tariff cap in contrast to SECI’s prevailing policy of imposing tariff caps on tenders. The bid-submission deadline is December 20, 2018.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) issued a tender for 8 MW of grid-connected solar PV project located at the Hubballi airport. AAI is on the lookout for an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor and the project completion timeframe is eight months from the date of award of the contract. The bid-submission deadline is December 10, 2018.
Major Auctions in November
Shapoorji Pallonji won the bid to develop 50 MW of floating solar project at Rihand Dam located in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. The capacity awarded was part of the 150 MW grid connected floating solar power tender issued by SECI. In this tender, SECI had fixed ₹3.32 (~$0.047)/kWh as the upper tariff ceiling and the auction for the remaining 100 MW capacity for package A and package C will be intimated separately.
Sukhbir Agro quoted the lowest tariff of ₹3.25 (~$0.04471)/kWh in the solar auction conducted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for 10 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects on behalf of the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC). The firm has entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the NMRC.