The Indian government has awarded solar projects totalling 620MW to 37 companies that took part in a recent auction. Among the companies successful at auction were Mahindra Solar One, Azure Power, SunEdison Energy India, Indian Oil, Welspun Solar AP and Punj Lloyd Infrastructure, all of which secured deals to supply 5MW.
The auction is the latest initiative in the Indian government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which aims to increase the country's solar capacity to 20GW by 2022. To date, the government has awarded 800MW of grid-connected projects out of the 1,100 MW targeted under the mission's first phase; bids for the remaining 300MW are expected to be finalised over the next few months.
“The government received 344 bids for solar projects in 14 states, of which 300 bids were for photovoltaic and 44 for solar thermal,” said Deepak Gupta, federal renewable energy secretary Deepak Gupta. “The bids offered a range of discounts and the average tariff for selected plants would be 12.16 rupees per kWh for solar photovoltaic and 11.48 rupees per kWh for solar thermal.”
After winning the contract at auction, the developers have one month to sign power purchase agreements and a further 11 months to complete the project itself.