The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has emerged as the lowest bidder in the auction for 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects conducted by the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA). With this auction, the solar tariffs in the state have stabilized around the ₹3 (~$0.04315)/kWh. The auction received a poor response as bids of only 90 MW were received for the 500 MW tender and in line with the RfS and PPA regulations, only 80% of the bids could be awarded.
NTPC quoted the lowest tariff of ₹3.02 (~$0.0434)/kWh to win two bids to develop a capacity 20 MW each. Sukhbir Agro quoted ₹3.05 (~$0.0439)/kWh to set up 50 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects but will be awarded only 32 MW.
A UPNEDA official confirmed the culmination of the auction and said, “We are shocked by the response. We are going to convene a meeting of all the stakeholders and try to fathom the issues. As of now, we are in an analysis mode. Any new tender will be issued only after a proper discussion as we have a huge solar PV target for the state.
The state agency had tendered the capacity in January 2019 with an upper tariff ceiling of ₹3.05 (~$0.0439)/kWh. Due to the impending general elections in the first half of the year, the bid-submission deadline was extended. Moreover, the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has only recently approved the changes proposed by UPNEDA in the request for selection (RfS) and power purchase agreement (PPA) of the projects.
Only 72 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects have been awarded as the rules of the agreements state that in case the tender is undersubscribed, only 80% of the capacity that has been bid for will be awarded.
The lowest tariff quoted in this auction remains the same as the tariff quoted in UPNEDA’s auction for 550 MW of projects by the NTPC. In the 550 MW grid-connected solar PV auction, the tariffs were quoted between a low of ₹3.02 (~$0.0434)/kWh and a high of ₹3.08 (~$0.04430)/kWh. In the current auction, the other tariff is ₹3.05 (~$0.0439)/kWh.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.