Solar Auctions Activity Increases in Q3 2021 While Tenders Slowed

Government agencies announced tenders for 5.8 GW of solar projects in the third quarter (Q3) of the calendar year (CY) 2021, a 31% decline compared to 8.5 GW in the previous quarter, according to Mercom India Research.

However, the figure was up around 16% compared to 5.04 GW of tenders announced in the same period last year.

Auctions were held for 8.9 GW of solar projects in the third quarter, a big jump compared to 465 MW in Q2. The auction activity was up 181% YoY growth compared to 3.17 GW auctioned in the same period last year.


Large tenders floated in Q3 2021

 In July 2021, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECIreleased a tender for developing 1.2 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar power projects (Tranche X) in Karnataka.

In the same month, NHPC invited bids from engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors for a 600 MW ISTS-connected solar project and associated power transmission lines. The project will be developed in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

July also saw NTPC inviting bids for an EPC package with land development for 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects anywhere in India.

In August 2021, NHPC Limited floated EPC tenders for grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects (up to 1 GW capacity) and an ISTS-connected 500 MW solar project in Tamil Nadu.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) also invited bids for 487 MW of decentralized solar projects of 500 kW to 2 MW capacity under Component A of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program.

Major auctions in Q3 2021 

In September this year, NTPC, SJVN, NHPC, NLC India, and IRCON International were confirmed winners in the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency’s auction for 5 GW of grid-connected solar projects (Tranche-III) under the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Program (Phase-II). NTPC won 1,990 MW capacity quoting a viability gap funding (VGF) amount of ₹4.495 million (~$61,019)/MW. SJVN and NHPC won 1,000 MW each, quoting VGF amounts of ₹4.472 million (~$60,707)/MW and ₹4.49 million (~$60,951)/MW, respectively.

In August 2021, Tata Power’s subsidiary TP Surya and AlJomaih Energy and Water Company were declared winners in the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited’s (RUMSL) auction for 500 MW of projects at the Neemuch Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh. TP Surya won 170 MW capacity quoting ₹2.14 (~$0.028)/kWh and another 160 MW quoting ₹2.149 (~$0.0289)/kWh. Aljomaih Energy and Water Company won 170 MW at a tariff of ₹2.15 (~$0.0289)/KWh.

In July, Avaada Energy and O2 Power were announced winners in RUMSL’s auction for 550 MW of solar projects at the Agar Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh. Avaada won a capacity of 200 MW, quoting ₹2.459 (~$0.033)/kWh, and O2 Power won 350 MW, quoting ₹2.444 (~$0.032)/kWh.

NTPC Renewables and Talettutayi Solar Projects Nine (SolarArise) were declared winners in RUMSL’s auction for 450 MW of solar projects at the Shajapur Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh. NTPC quoted the lowest tariff of ₹2.33 (~$0.0313)/kWh in the auction.

In July, ACME Solar Holdings and ReNew Solar Power were declared winners in MSEDCL’s auction to procure power from 500 MW of solar projects (Phase VI) on a long-term basis. ACME won a capacity of 300 MW quoting ₹2.42 (~$0.032)/kWh. ReNew won 200 MW quoting ₹2.43 (~$0.033)/kWh.

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