Solar Tender Announcements dropped in September while Auction Activity Increased

After a surge in the solar tender announcements in August, the tender activity dropped by almost half while auctions increased in September 2019.

Nearly 3 GW of solar tenders were floated in September compared to almost 6.5 GW issued in August 2019.

Auction activity increased with 930 MW of solar project auctions conducted in September compared to August, in which only 695 of solar projects were auctioned.

Last month, 98 MW of solar projects were retendered compared to 300 MW retendered in August 2019.

Year-over-year, the capacity tendered in September 2019 was nearly 119% higher compared to September 2018, which witnessed tender announcements of ~1.4 GW. Auction activity has higher by over 70% compared to the same month last year.

India Solar Tenders and Auctions (MW)

Nearly, 10.8 GW of tenders had their bid submission dates in September but were later extended to October 2019, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker.

Major tender whose submission date was extended included 6 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar projects issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The new date for bid submissions is October 11, 2019.

SECI also extended the submission deadline for its 275 MW solar tender, which is slated to be developed in Uttar Pradesh solar park.

Here’s a quick recap of the major tenders announced in September 2019:

Major Tenders

NHPC Limited, a government-owned hydropower generator, issued a tender inviting bids for procuring 2,000 MW of solar power. NHPC will enter into power purchase agreements for 25 years with the successful developers. The projects are expected to be connected to the ISTS network. Modules for projects under this tender can be imported (open category).

The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) issued a request for proposal (RfP) for the procurement of 500 MW of power from grid-connected solar PV projects. The tariff ceiling for this tender is ₹3.25 (~$0.046)/kWh.


The Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGCL) retendered 70 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed at Amguri Solar park in Sivasagar district of Assam. The tender was initially floated in January 2019, but due to the poor response from the developers to the upper tariff cap of ₹3.50 (0.0049)/kWh, the APGCL revised the ceiling to ₹4 (~$0.16)/kWh.

Likewise, the Madhya Pradesh Urja Nigam Limited (MPUVNL), in partnership with MP Industrial Development Corporation, reissued its tender for 28 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar systems. The project was for the sale of solar power under the RESCO model for industries located in the industrial area of Mandideep in Madhya Pradesh.

Major Auctions

In the major auction for 922.4 MW held by SECI, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) emerged as the largest winner and was awarded capacity of 769.4 MW through the viability gap funding. The auction was part of SECI’s tender for setting up 2,000 MW of grid-connected solar projects (Tranche-I) under the second phase of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU). Capacities were awarded to NHDC (25 MW) which quoted the lowest VGF amount of ₹5.5 million ($77,793)/MW, Singareni Collieries (90 MW) quoted ₹6 million ($84,866)/MW, Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (30 MW) with ₹6.8 million ($96,181)/MW, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (3 MW) with ₹6.975 million ($98,656)/MW, Nalanda University (5 MW) with ₹6.99 million ($98,947)/MW, and NTPC (769.4 MW) which quoted the highest VGF of ₹7 million ($99,010)/MW which also happened to be the maximum permissible limit.

Following this, the NTPC conducted an auction to select engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies for developing the 769.4 MW capacity. Tata Power (250 MW), Hild Energy Private Limited (150 MW), Refex Energy (100 MW), and Adani Infra (269 MW) emerged as the winners in this auction by NTPC. These bidders were awarded projects based on project costs quoted.