NTPC’s 1.2 GW Solar Tender Receives Strong Response, Oversubscribed by 500 MW

NTPC Limited’s tender for setting up 1.2 GW of Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected solar projects has been met with an enthusiastic response from the developers. The tender has been oversubscribed by 500 MW.

According to Mercom’s sources, six companies – ReNew Power, Tata Power, O2 Power, Sungrow, Azure Power, and AMP solar – have collectively placed bids for 1.7 GW of projects.

Back in February 2020, NTPC floated an invitation for bids for the selection of solar power developers to set up 1.2 GW of ISTS-connected solar projects. The tender was announced with a ceiling tariff set at ₹2.78 (~$0.037)/kWh.

In June, NTPC extended the bid submission deadline to July 15, 2020, from the earlier deadline of May 28, 2020. In April, the company had extended the deadline to May 28, 2020, from May 12, 2020, previously.

According to the tender documents issued earlier, the minimum capacity that a bidder could develop was 50 MW and in multiples of 10 MW from there, up to a maximum quotable capacity of 600 MW. Bidders were allowed to develop projects at multiple locations as long as each project was at least 50 MW.

However, bidders were allowed to only quote a single tariff for the entire capacity. The developer would be required to achieve financial closure for the project within 12 months from the effective date of PPA. The tender also stated that the capacity utilization factor (CUF) of the solar projects selected must not be less than 19%.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Tracker, NTPC has 875 MW of large-scale solar projects in operation, and about 2.1 GW capacity is currently under development.

Recently, NTPC also invited applications globally to enlist vendors to procure solar modules. The tentative capacity for the procurement of solar modules in the current financial year has been set at 1 GW, while 2-2.5 GW has been planned for the subsequent years.