India pipeline reaches 4GW with 500MW Telangana tender

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India’s new state of Telangana, formerly part of Andhra Pradesh, has launched a 500MW solar tender.

This tender adds to a 4GW pipeline of solar development contracts across India.

The state of Telangana currently suffers from blackouts and has formed the solar auction to help meet its power deficit.

Solar power project developers can bid for 25-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) from the state utility, Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Limited (TSSPDCL).

Bidders can bid a universal tariff for the continuation of the 25-year PPAs, or they can bid to split the tariff into 10- and 15-year prices.

The deadline for bids is the 26 September, with the bid process scheduled to be complete by 23 November.

The tender will allocate PPAs through competitive bidding.

There is a 10 month deadline for projects to come online from signing PPAs. Multiple bids are accepted, but projects must be between 2-200MW in size to connect to TSSPDCL sub stations.  

Currently the Telangana is in need of 4GW to help meet agriculture energy demand, but only 3.5GW is available, resulting in daily blackouts.  

The Telangana solar auction matches its now neighbour state, Andhra Pradesh’s 500MW solar tender – deadline 17 September. However, because of the larger 200MW limit, and the flexibility in bidding, the Telangana auction is expected to receive more interest, although Andhra Pradesh’s auction also has a longer 12 month development deadline.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are both ambitious in their solar auctions, and add to a 4GW pipeline, according to solar analyst, Bridge to India.

Accounting for 1.5GW of this pipeline is part of the national solar mission.

There are also new net-metering policies in Delhi and Punjab and new project allocation tenders for over 2.3MW across India, including 50MW in Haryana and Uttarakhand and 75MW tender in Maharashtra, according to Bridge to India.

The Indian solar market “benefits from a clear intent to do more solar. However, the bureaucracy, especially at the state level, is not doing its homework on effective execution before making announcements and releasing tenders”, the analyst firm said in a newsletter.  

Bridge to India then suggested that what could help state level solar auctions is a “roadmap-based co-ordination between the center and states on the allocation timeline, more frequent, smaller allocations instead of single large bids and a standardised, simple and fast online bidding allocation process”.

“If India starts moving towards a more streamlined and well thought out policy implementation framework, there is plenty of cause for exuberance,” said Bridge to India.

Recently, US developer, First Solar also announced it is building a 45MW solar power plant in Telangana.

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