In April 2018, approximately 1.3 GW of new solar projects were tendered, over 1.6 GW was retendered, and only 40 MW of solar was auctioned across the country, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker.
Over 1.3 GW was tendered in April 2018, much lower when compared to the approximately 3 GW of solar tendered in March 2018.
According to the tender trajectory issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) 3 GW was to be tendered in December 2017, followed by 3 GW in January 2018, 5 GW in February 2018, and 6 GW in March 2018. Another 30 GW is expected to be tendered in FY 2018-19 with 30 GW to follow in FY 2019-20.
The subsiding figures indicate that tender announcements have been decreasing after an unprecedented volume of tenders which were announced in the months preceding April-March 2018.
“Tender announcements alone are not a good predicator of future solar activity because not all tendered projects are auctioned. Projects can only move forward after they win an auction and sign a PPA. For context, in the first four months of 2018, an impressive 14 GW of solar projects have been tendered according to the Mercom India Tender Tracker, while less than 2 GWs have been auctioned. Until we see clarity around the safeguard duty and other trade issues, the bottleneck may continue,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
The 40 MW of solar that was auctioned in April was drastically lower compared to the 1 GW of solar auctioned in March 2018. Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) scrapped the completed auction for the development of 500 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects in Gujarat, which led to a reduction in the capacity auctioned in April 2018.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) tendered 1 GW of solar PV projects to be developed under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana across 218 taluks in Maharashtra.
Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) retendered 650 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed at the Pavagada Solar Park located in the state’s Tumkur district.
Mahindra Susten emerged as the lowest (L1) bidder in the auction held by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) India for the development of 20 MW of solar project with battery energy storage system (BESS) to be developed on the island of Andaman & Nicobar.