Tariff ceilings and COVID-19 worries haunt 500MW solar tender in Gujarat

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Flickr: Arian Zwegers

Indian utility Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) has garnered just 430MW of submissions in its latest 500MW solar tender.

Tata Power, Juniper Green and Vena Energy were the only firms to submit bids under the tender, resulting in undersubscription. A reverse auction was due for 16 March this year.

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Vinay Rustagi, managing director of consultancy firm Bridge to India, told PV Tech: “The low tariff ceiling (INR 2.65) [around 3 US dollar cents per kWh] is believed to be a major issue particularly due to uncertainty caused by Coronavirus.”

The ceiling tariff set by the utility came despite an order from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) last week directing state utilities and central agencies not to include upper ceiling tariffs in future renewable energy auctions.

Last May, GUVNL's 500MW tender saw tariffs in the range of INR 2.65-2.70/kWh.

Analysts believe India’s solar market will reach an installed capacity of 82GW by 2024, up from 39GW in 2019, despite policy friction between central and state governments.

The country – told by experts it risks missing its clean energy targets for 2022 – may grant deadline extensions to PV projects affected by coronavirus-driven delays with components.

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