During the latest round of auctions by state-run Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL), Welspun Group and Sunborne Energy Holdings were awarded contracts to build solar PV plants in Karnataka, India. According to Bloomberg, Welspun plans to build a 7MW PV project while Sunborne will develop a 10MW solar thermal project.

Helena Power provided the auction’s lowest bid for 10 contracts. The company has committed to sell PV-based electricity to KREDL at US$152/MWh, which is nearly double the wholesale price of coal-based power.  “We may tender another 120 megawatts of capacity in the next financial year,” stated N.S. Prasanna Kumar, managing director of state-run KREDL.

Bloomberg noted that India has turned to auctions in order to drive down the average solar power rate, which according to the report, have fallen 38% since December 2010. KREDL advised that it had awarded 60MW of PV capacity and 20MW of solar thermal capacity during the auction to other companies such as Jindal Aluminum, Essel Infrastructure, GKC Project, United Telecoms, Saj Sudhi Energy and Atria Power. Kumar also stated that during the next auction the utility could potentially cover 70MW of PV and 50MW of solar thermal capacity.