Last week, in Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) 2 GW CPSU solar tender which auctioned 922.4 MW with viability gap funding (VGF) option, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had won the largest capacity of 769.4 MW. Following this, the NTPC had also issued a tender to select engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies for developing this capacity.

Now, Tata Power (250 MW), Hild Energy Private Limited (150 MW), Refex Energy (100 MW), and Adani Infra (269 MW) have emerged as the winners in this auction by NTPC to provide EPC services.

These bidders were awarded projects based on project costs quoted. Tata Power Solar was the lowest bidder with EPC quote of ₹23.2 million ($330,146). Second in the list of winners was Hild Energy that quoted ₹23.2 million ($330,298) to develop a capacity of 150 MW. Closely following were Refex Energy and Adani Infra that won bids for 100 MW and 269 MW respectively. Adani had quoted a price of ₹25.1 million ($357,538) for 300 MW but was allotted capacity of 269 MW only in line with the bucket-filling method followed in the auction.

NTPC - CPSU Solar Projects

Recently, Mercom reported that NTPC had been given a timeline of 18 months to 24 months to develop these projects floated by SECI under the CPSU program. The projects will be developed on Build-Own-Operate (B-O-O) basis. Under the program, the usage charges cannot exceed ₹3.50 (~$0.050)/kWh and will be exclusive of any other third-party charge such as wheeling, transmission charges, and losses.

This is a tender with a domestic content requirement mandate (DCR). The winners are given 21 months from the date of issues of letter of award (LoA) to complete the projects.

SECI floated the tender to set up 2,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects under the second phase of the CPSU program in March 2019. The maximum permissible limit for VGF had been kept at ₹7 million (~$0.10 million)/MW for these projects. NTPC won 769 MW quoting the highest VGF of ₹7 million ($99,010)/MW which also happened to be the maximum permissible limit.

According to Mercom India Research, 4.5 GW of solar tenders have been issued under the CPSU Phase II program from both SECI and NTPC.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago, Tata Power Solar also bagged a 70 MW floating solar project in the state of Kerala in a tender issued by NTPC.

Image credit: Nurol Solar