Indian auction for 6.4GW of solar bucks trend of falling tariffs

Image: Adani Green Energy.

Adani Green Energy has secured 3GW of PV capacity in a 6.4GW solar auction in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh that saw higher tariffs than other recent tenders in the country.

At INR2.47/kWh (US$0.0339/kWh), the lowest tariff was posted by utility Torrent Power for 300MW, only marginally lower than winning bids in an auction held in Andhra Pradesh two-and-a-half years ago and significantly higher than India’s record-low solar tariff of INR1.99/kWh that was quoted in a Gujarat auction in December.

Total-backed Adani Green Energy won five solar projects of 600MW each in the auction held by Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation, according to results shared by consultancy JMK Research & Analytics.

Transformer manufacturer Shirdi Sai Electricals was the other big winner, picking up 2.2GW of projects that will be developed in four separate locations.

The remaining capacity was awarded to utility NTPC (which won 600MW) and engineering firm HES Infra (300MW). The five companies taking part in the auction submitted a combined 14.9GW of bids, oversubscribing the tender by 8.5GW.

Winning bidders

Bidder Price (INR/kWh) Capacity awarded (MW)
Torrent Power 2.47 300
Shirdi Sai Electricals 2.48 – 2.49 2,200
NTPC 2.48 600
Adani Green Energy 2.49 3,000
HES Infra 2.49 300

JMK Research & Analytics said the higher figures posted in Andhra Pradesh represent an “apparent recalibration in solar market dynamics”. According to the consultancy, the tariffs may have been higher due to lower levels of solar irradiation in the state as well as increased risks due to previous power purchase agreement renegotiation issues with the Andhra Pradesh government.

An absence of international developers participating in the auction may have also had an effect, JMK said, as well as a shorter amount of time for bid submissions meaning companies may not have been able to conduct detailed site assessments.

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