Government agencies announced tenders for 10.6 GW of solar power projects in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, an increase of 27% compared to 8.3 GW in the previous quarter, according to Mercom India Research.
The numbers were, however, down by 23% compared to the same period last year.
The quarter witnessed over 7.8 GW of auctions, an increase of 163% compared to 2.9 GW in the previous quarter. However, the figures were down by 32% compared to 11.4 GW of auctions during the same period last year.
The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) accounted for 47.1% of all the tenders floated in Q1 2021.
Major Tenders in Q1 2021
In January, the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) floated a request for selection to purchase power from 500 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be set up in the state in Phase XII.
Also, in January this year, IREDA floated a tender for the setting up of 5 GW of grid-connected solar power projects in India (Tranche III) under the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) program (Phase II).
In another tender, the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company invited bids from solar power developers for setting up 250 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects at the Dondaicha Solar Park in Dhule, Maharashtra.
In February, NTPC invited bids to build 735 MW of grid-connected solar projects in three blocks of 245 MW each at the Nokh Solar Park in Rajasthan.
Also, in March, GUVNL reissued tenders to purchase 800 MW of solar power from grid-connected solar projects at the Dholera and Raghanesda solar parks in the state. The first tender was for 700 MW of solar projects (Phase IX-R) to be set up at the 1 GW Dholera solar park. The second tender was for developing 100 MW of solar projects (Phase X-R) at the Raghanesda Solar Park.
Auctions in Q1 2021
In January, the renewable energy arm of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) won the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the 200 MW project in Gujarat through an e-reverse auction conducted by NTPC. In another auction, L&T won the rights in the e-reverse auction held by the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited to construct a 210 MW grid-connected solar power project in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat.
In February, Andhra’s solar auction for 6.4 GW of solar projects spread over ten locations resulted in tariffs ranging between ₹2.47 (~$0.033)/kWh and ₹2.58 (~$0.035)/kWh. It was the lowest tariff in a solar auction in the state to date. The previous low tariff discovered in the state auction was ₹2.70 (~$0.039)/kWh in 2018.
Later in the quarter, Torrent Power Generation and Adani Green Energy were declared winners in Torrent Power Limited’s auction to develop 300 MW of grid-connected solar projects in Gujarat. Adani Green and Torrent Power quoted a tariff of ₹2.22 (~$0.03)/kWh and were awarded capacities of 150 MW each.
In another auction, Rising Sun Energy, a New Delhi-based independent power producer, won 190 MW of solar projects quoting a tariff of ₹2.25 (~$0.031)/kWh in NTPC Limited’s auction for 190 MW of grid-connected solar projects at Nokh Solar Park in Rajasthan.
Later in March, Sprng Ujjvala Energy, NTPC Renewable Energy, Coal India, and TP Saurya – a Tata Power subsidiary – were declared winners in the GUVNL’s auction to purchase power from 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects (Phase XII).
Sprng Ujjvala Energy won a capacity of 120 MW quoting ₹2.20 (~$0.030)/kWh. NTPC Renewable Energy, Coal India, and TP Saurya won 150 MW, 100 MW, and 60 MW, respectively, quoting ₹2.20 (~$0.030)/kWh. SJVN had quoted 100 MW at ₹2.21 (~$0.030)/kWh and won 70 MW capacity under the bucket filling method.
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Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.