The Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) auction for 1,070 MW of solar projects in Rajasthan set a record-low lowest (L1) tariff of ₹2 (~$0.0270)/kWh (Tranche-III), according to Mercom’s sources.
This tariff is about 15.3% lower than SECI’s previous record low tariff of ₹2.36 (~$0.0319)/kWh discovered in its auction for 2 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar projects (Tranche IX) back in June.
SECI had received bids from 14 companies for a total of 4,350 MW, leaving the tender oversubscribed by 3,280 MW. Eight of the quoted tariffs were below the previous record low of ₹2.36 (~$0.0319)/kWh.
The record-breaking tariff was quoted by Al jomaiah Energy and Water Company and Green Infra Wind Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Sembcorp for 200 MW and 400 MW of solar projects, respectively. NTPC Limited quoted the second-lowest bid at ₹2.01 (~$0.0272)/kWh for 600 MW of projects but were only awarded 470 MW under the bucket-filling method. Sprng Ujjvala Energy Private Limited quoted ₹2.02 (~$0.0273)/kWh for 300 MW of projects. SJVN Limited quoted ₹2.07 (~$0.0279)/kWh for 250 MW of projects.
According to a lender, “Due to the pandemic, industries worldwide are looking at declining interest rates. For this auction, in particular, they are mostly eyeing 7.75% or lower rates of interest and a steep fall in module prices.” Another noteworthy point in this tender is that SECI has already identified the off-taker for these projects. This is unlike other auctions where the power sale agreements are not signed even after months of auctions being concluded.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Rajasthan has about 5.2 GW of large-scale solar projects in operation, and approximately 8.5 GW capacity is currently under development as of September 2020.
[Nithin Thomas Prasad]