In March 2018, more than 3 GW of solar projects were tendered but just 1 GW of solar projects were auctioned across India according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker. The figures indicate that tender announcements have been decreasing after an unprecedented volume of tenders was announced in January 2018.
Over 3 GW of capacity tendered during March 2018 was slightly down from the 3.5 GW tendered in February 2018, but the capacity auctioned increased slightly to 1 GW from the 760 MW auctioned during the previous month.
According to the tender trajectory issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), 6 GW of solar PV was targeted to be tendered in March 2018. With only over 3.4 GW of tenders actually issued, the implementing agencies fell behind the set target.
March was the second month in a row where government’s tender target was not achieved by country’s implementing agencies. Going by the tender trajectory, February should have logged tenders aggregating 5 GW of solar. However, the actual total was only 3.5 GW.
The goal was part of an ambitious plan issued by MNRE in November 2017 that also called for issuing 3 GW of solar tenders in December, 3 GW in January, 5 GW in February, and 6 GW in March.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) also tendered 100 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Tenders for solar PV projects along with battery energy storage system (BESS) made a comeback. NTPC tendered 25 MW of solar PV projects with BESS to be developed on the island of Andaman & Nicobar, while Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) India tendered another 20 MW of grid-connected solar PV project with BESS to be developed on the island.