India’s solar market is on a roll with over 24 GW of large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in the country as of December 2018. According to Mercom India Research, over 13 GW of large-scale solar projects were auctioned and awarded in 2018, nearly three times more than the 4.5 GW awarded in 2017.

With the government focused on large mega-tenders and auctions, smaller developers have largely been left out due to financial constraints because auctions have become too big for them to bid.

Solar auctions of over 13 GW have not been spread evenly and a few large developers have won most of the projects. ACME Solar won the most auctions in 2018 (16 percent), followed by SB Energy with 15 percent, and Azure Power with a 11 percent. In 2018, approximately 67 percent of large-scale solar auctions were won by just seven developers.

Solar Auctions in 2018: Who Had the Biggest Share of the Pie?

Top 3 auction winners from 2018

ACME Solar, a domestic solar developer won 10 projects for approximately 2.2 GW of large-scale solar at an average tariff rate of ₹2.83 (~$0.04)/kWh in 2018. In 2017, ACME won a solar action for 450 MW of capacity at an average tariff rate of ₹2.87 (~$0.041)/kWh. According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, ACME has a total large-scale solar portfolio of 3.9 GW with approximately 1.8 GW of projects in operation.

Solar Auctions in 2018: Who Had the Biggest Share of the Pie?

SB Energy (SoftBank), a joint venture of Japan’s SoftBank, Taiwan’s Foxconn, and Bharti Airtel, was awarded 2 GW of large-scale solar PV projects to be developed across the country at an average tariff rate of ₹2.73 (~$0.0389)/kWh in 2018. In 2017, they won 600 MW of solar projects at a tariff range of ₹2.45 (~$0.0349)/kWh to ₹2.63 (~$0.0375)/kWh. Recently, SECI cancelled 2.4 GW of auctioned solar capacity due to a high price difference in tariffs, for which SB Energy quoted a tariff of ₹2.71 (~$0.0395)/kWh to develop 1.8 GW, but was awarded only 1.1 GW. The 1.1 GW project capacity is the single largest capacity bid in India in a reverse auction so far.

Azure Power, an independent solar power producer with an overall project portfolio of over 3 GW has been among the most active in the solar power auctions. With one of the largest project pipelines, Azure Power has been awarded approximately 1.4 GW capacity and tariffs ranging between a low of ₹2.53 (~$0.036)/kWh and a high of ₹3.34 (~$0.047)/kWh. Azure’s project development pipeline including rooftop projects now stands at 1.9 GW.

To get detailed information about Indian solar projects under development or in operation, get Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker. For a detailed database of market share in the Indian solar industry, click here


Note: Of the total 2 GW awarded to SB Energy, 450 MW is wind solar hybrid project; and company is yet to be awarded 250 MW of solar projects in Gujarat.

Pratheeksha is a Research Associate at Mercom India. Prior to Mercom, Pratheeksha was an Associate Analyst at GlobalData where she authored and published syndicated research reports in the power generation industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics from PESITM and Master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems from the Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology at VTU University.