Just three bids submitted by two bidders totaling 90 MW capacity have been received by the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) in response to its tender for 500 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects.
A government official told Mercom, “The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has submitted two bids of 20 MW each and Sukhbir Agro has submitted a bid to set up 50 MW of grid-connected solar PV capacity.”
UPNEDA had tendered the capacity in January 2019 and set an upper tariff ceiling of ₹3.05 (~$0.043)/kWh. Due to the impending general elections then, the bid-submission deadline was extended. Moreover, the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has only recently approved the changes proposed by UPNEDA in the request for selection (RfS) and power purchase agreement (PPA) of the projects.
In all, out of the 500 MW tendered, only 72 MW will be developed. The rules of these RfS and PPA state that if the tender is undersubscribed, then only 80% of the capacity that has been bid for will be awarded.
Another reason for the undersubscription was the short time available to the developers, the official further informed. “The UPERC only recently approved the deviations, but we are about to change from the TCIL portal to another portal so that another extension would have meant the cancellation of the tender. We did not want that and went ahead with it. Soon, we will issue other tenders for the procurement as we have over 1 GW target for solar PV,” added the official.
The hope that future tenders will attract interest is based on the outcome of the last auction held by UPNEDA. In that auction, UPNEDA awarded 550 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to be set up with tariffs ranging between a low of ₹3.02 (~$0.0431)/kWh and a high of ₹3.08 (~$0.0440)/kWh.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, the state of Uttar Pradesh has ~873 MW of commissioned solar projects while ~1.2 GW of projects are currently in the pipeline.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.