Tamil Nadu tenders 500MW solar to fill RPO shortfall

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Flickr: Gemma Amor

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has issued a request for submission (RfS) for 500MWac of solar energy, continuing attempts to reach its Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO), after a previous tender of the same size was undersubscribed.

The new tender document said that projects can be between 1-500MWac in size, with PPAs to be signed with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) for a period of 25-years. TANGEDCO has set the benchmark tariff at INR4.50/kWh (US$0.066). The deadline for submissions is 10 February 2017.

A different request for submission (RfS) was issued in October last year for 500MWac with the maximum tariff set at INR5.10/kWh (US$0.076), and with projects of only 1-50MWac eligible, but this was significantly undersubscribed. At the time, Mercom Captial Group reported that the tender received bids aggregating just 117MW.

The original tender plans were approved by Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) because the state sought to achieve its RPO's, which are set at 2.5% for the year 2016-17 and 5% for the year 2017/18. Roughly 3.2GW of solar power is required for the year 2017-18.

The state was the first in India to report solar curtailment and has seen delayed payments for both wind and solar projects, which are deterrents for developers. However, significant module price drops of late will make most tenders in India more attractive. Today, Tamil Nadu also signed up to the UDAY scheme, which could help its distribution company's (discom) finances in the long-term.

SECI ready for 2.3GW of tenders

In related news, Indian outlet Economic Times has quoted Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) managing director Ashvini Kumar as saying that the organisation will soon tender a further 2.3GW of solar; the remaining capacities to be divvied out from a target total of 5.5GW.

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