Bengaluru: Tariffs saw a modest rise at the latest auction of solar projects conducted by Solar Corporation of India (SECI), its first since last July.n

Solar power tariffs on modest rise at SECI auction

The reverse auction of 1200 MW saw four winners, each winning 300 MW

Bengaluru: Tariffs saw a modest rise at the latest auction of solarprojects conducted by Solar Corporation of India (SECI), its first since last July.

The reverse auction of 1200 MW saw four winners, each winning 300 MW. ReNew Power’s bid was the lowest, offering to supply electricity at Rs 2.55 per unit, followed by Azure Power at Rs 2.58. Eden Renewable quoted Rs 2.60 per unit and SoftBank-backed SB Energy, Rs 2.61.

In the previous SECI auction held in July 2018, the lowest bid had been Rs 2.44 per unit, which remains the all-time low.

“With exchange rate having increased and interest rates having gone up, it essentially means tariffs have stayed where they are,” said a developer, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It shows developers are making aggressive assumptions, either on cost or on interest rates — one of the two.”

The developer said for the bigger developers, growth was paramount, and hence they seemed to be willing to take a hit on their returns. “Going forward, we will see the market consolidating as only companies with large portfolio will be able to play this game of bidding on aggressive tariffs,” he said. Small companies, he said, would find it difficult to match such tariffs.

In the previous SECI auction, where 3,000 MW of projects were on offer, while Acme Solar had bid the lowest at Rs 2.44 per unit, the other winners had bid substantially higher. Subsequently, SECI accepted only Acme Solar’s bid for 600 MW, cancelling the remaining 2400 MW. Developers whose bids were cancelled included ReNew Power and SB Energy. This may well have prompted developers to bid more competitively this time.

Developers have the option of setting up their projects anywhere in the country, according to bid conditions of this auction. [ETEnergyworld] 24 Views

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