India conducts its first major wind-solar hybrid auction

Hybrid is one in which solar and wind is generated together by placing solar modules and wind turbines alongside each other.

New Delhi: Softbank-backed SB Energy and Gautam Adani led- Adani Green Energy have won 840 MW of the 1,200 MW put on sale at the first wind-solar hybrid auction.

SB Energy won 450 MW at Rs 2.67 per unit of electricity generated while Adani Green Energy won 390 MW at Rs 2.69 in the auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

“This is a good price for the first time,” an SECI executive said. “Perhaps since it is so because it is the initial estimate. With more optimisation comes competition. It is also dependent on individual efficiencies of panels of turbines, so tariffs will keep falling.”

These were the only two developers who put in bids in the auction, leaving the remaining 360 MW with no takers. This is the second time SECI had put this bid. In the first attempt in May, there were no bidders at all. It was scaled down from 2,500 MW to 1,200 MW.

Hybrid is one in which solar and wind is generated together by placing solar modules and wind turbines alongside each other. This reduces the requirement of land and transmission facilities, and hence SECI is keen to encourage it.

Analysts though have doubts about the process.

“This is a face saving exercise—to run an auction between two people for two projects is not really an auction in a sense,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director at solar consultancy Bridge To India. “I think it was pretty clear that both bidders will get the capacities at the tariffs they have already bid, so it was not an authentic process in that sense.”

Developers were not enthused by the auction.

“These are not lucrative tariffs. We worked out many combinations and decided not to participate because they are simply not viable,” said a developer requesting anonymity.[www.energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com]

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