Solar Auction Activity Increased in October with 1.3 Gigawatts

Auction activity increased in October 2019 while tender announcements decreased compared to the previous month, according to Mercom India solar tender tracker.

About 2.7 GW of solar tenders were floated in October 2019, compared to September, when nearly 3 GW of solar tenders were floated. The tender activity would have decreased further if the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) had not increased its previous 6 GW solar tender to 7 GW. SECI’s amended tender now calls for 7 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar projects linked with 2 GW of solar manufacturing component. Also, the deadline for bid submission for the same tender was extended for the third time.  The initial deadline was September 11, 2019, which was later extended to October 11, 2019.

However, the month saw approximately 1.3 GW capacity of solar projects auctioned, an increase of 36% when compared to September.

Year-over-year, the capacity tendered in October 2019 saw a reduction of about 10% compared to October 2018, which witnessed tender announcements of 3.1 GW. However, the auction activity increased by 66% compared to the corresponding month last year. Only 759 MW of solar projects were auctioned in October 2018.



India Solar Tenders and Auctions (MW)

The month also witnessed the cancellation of a 1,350 MW solar tender announced by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).  A senior official of MSEDCL told Mercom that they “received a poor response from the developers due to the elections held in the state last month and are now waiting for a stable government for it to be retendered.”

Major Tenders

Here is a quick recap of the major tenders announced in October 2019:

SECI issued a tender to procure 400 MW (2×200 MW) of renewable energy on round the clock basis. The energy procured through these projects will be supplied to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

As mentioned earlier, SECI also increased the manufacturing linked solar tender, which it had initially floated in January 2019. The capacity has been increased from 6 GW to 7 GW.

The Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL) has invited bids to develop 50 MW of grid-connected and small-scale solar projects in various states and union territories under the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model.

The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) floated a tender for 45 MW of rooftop solar projects across the state. The estimated capacity of the project is 50 MW, which can either be increased or decreased as per the availability of the capacity and Central Financial Assistance (CFA) allocation as approved by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a joint venture of the Indian Railways and RITES Limited, has issued a request for qualification (RfQ) to set up approximately 32.56 MW of rooftop solar systems at various railway establishments and stations across the zonal railways in India. REMCL also announced another request for selection (RfS) for hybrid power. In the interest of utilizing the optimum potential offered by the hybridization of solar and wind, the developer is free to declare the rated capacity of the hybrid project at the output level of the sub-pooling substation, which will be considered as the project capacity. The project capacity does not necessarily have to be the arithmetic sum of the installed capacity of the two components; the tender document has underlined.

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) invited bids for the development of grid-connected solar projects up to a capacity of 1,000 MW.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) issued a tender for a 50 MW (AC) of solar power projects for MAHAGENCO. This solar project will be located at Kaudgaon in Maharashtra.

Haryana Power Purchase Company (HPPC) issued a tender to procure 300 MW of solar power under a short-term open access arrangement.

Retenders

Haryana Power Generation Company Limited (HPGCL) retendered three grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects of a total capacity of 57 MW.

Major Auctions 

In the auction held by SECI for 960 MW of inter-state transmission system (ISTS-VI) connected solar projects, ReNew Power (300 MW) at ₹2.71 (~$0.038)/kWh, Avaada Energy (300 MW) at ₹2.71 (~$0.038)/kWh, Masaya Solar Energy (UPC Renewables) (300 MW) at ₹2.71 (~$0.038)/kWh, and Tata Power (60 MW) at ₹2.72 (~$0.038)/kWh, won the bids.

Another major auction winner in the month was TBEA, a Chinese manufacturer of power transformers, which won the 300 MW of solar projects in the 1.2 GW auction conducted by the National Thermal Power Corporation. With this win, TBEA has set out as a solar independent power producer (IPP) in the Indian renewable energy market.

Image credit: Greenko Group