Adani and Softbank bid into undersubscribed Indian hybrid solar and wind auction

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Credit: Hero Future Energies

Solar Energy Corporation of India's 1.2GW hybrid solar and wind auction, the first in the country, drew bids from heavyweight players Adani and Softbank, but was still undersubscribed by 150MW.

The original 2.5GW had already been reduced to 1.2GW earlier this year.

In this case, Adani bid for 600MW and Softbank's unit SB Energy bid for 450MW, according to sources. It is not yet known if SECI will hold another auction or award the current projects from yesterday's auction.

The tender was meant to spearhead the new National Wind-Solar Hybrid policy and the country saw it's first ever large-scale wind and solar project inaugurated by Hero Future Energies in Karnataka back in April. Hero has previously disclosed to PV Tech that it intends to add energy storage systems to the project after a year of higher than expected winds had caused the plant to experience some curtailment.

Indeed, consultancy firm Bridge to India stated back in the summer: “By exploiting common transmission and evacuation infrastructure, such plants can use capital more efficiently and bring down tariffs even further. But transmission and evacuation infrastructure costs usually account for only about 3-5% of total capital cost of solar and wind power plants. Savings of this scale are likely to be easily eroded by sub-optimal wind or solar resource available at the location and/or higher curtailment risk. The other claimed advantage is that hybrid plants can reduce variability in power output and improve grid stability as wind and solar resources are somewhat complementary to each other. This is statistically correct although the benefit is hard to quantify. There are other easier and cheaper ways to achieve the same result including better forecasting techniques, ancillary services market, demand side management etc.”

India's 10GW solar and 3GW manufacturing tender recently drew just one bidder, Azure Power, in yet another example of the industry giving a lukewarm response to the huge tendering plans of the Indian government in recent weeks.

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