SECI Likely to Retender 2.25 GW of Round-the-Clock Renewables Bundled with Thermal

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is likely to retender the remaining capacity of its initial 2.5 GW of round-the-clock (RTC) renewable energy projects bundled with thermal, considering the other bidders failed to match the lowest tariff to secure the letter of award.

Hindustan Thermal Projects was declared the winner in the auction and was awarded the capacity of 250 MW at the tariff of ₹3.01 (~$0.040) in October 2021.

Other bidders who participated in the initial auction in October 2021 include Greenko Energies, who quoted a tariff of ₹3.18 (~$0.042)/kWh for 1,001 MW capacity, Renew Samir Urja quoted 600 MW capacity at ₹3.19 (~$0.042)/kWh, Power Mech Projects quoted 550 MW at ₹3.30 (~$0.44)/kWh, JSW Neo Energy Limited and Techno Electric & Engineering quoted 600 MW and 500 MW, respectively, at ₹3.45 (~$0.046)/kWh.

According to the tender document, the bidders had to match the lowest bid (L1) tariff for the letter of award to be issued.

One of the bidders commented that there was a ₹0.18-₹0.45 (~$0.0024-$0.006)/kWh difference between the lowest bid and the others. Even though the ₹3.18 (~$0.042)/kWh tariff quoted was aggressive, it was considered manageable, but ₹3.01 (~$0.040) was absolutely unviable.

SECI is expected to amend and retender to ensure it receives a good response for the bid.

In March 2020, SECI initially issued the tender for developers to supply 5 GW of power round-the-clock from grid-connected renewable energy projects bundled with coal-based thermal projects in India.

However, in January 2021, SECI amended the request of selection (RfS) documents and reduced the tender capacity from 5 GW to 2.5 GW. As per the revised RfS documents, bidders could submit a single bid offering a minimum of 250 MW capacity and a maximum of 2.5 GW. Earlier, the range was 500 MW to 5 GW.

The amendments specified that bidders could tie-up with any capacity of non-renewable energy. Therefore, power purchase agreements (PPA) and power sale agreements (PSA) would not be applicable for projects without any tie-up with a non-renewable energy project.

SECI stated that renewable generation sources and energy storage systems could be co-located or situated at different sites and considered a single project. However, the developer would pay transmission charges if the power is injected from energy storage systems at a different location from the renewable energy components.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker, SECI has issued tenders for 2.9 GW of RTC power projects to date.