Tamil Nadu fails to hit 1,000MW bidding target

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The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has received only 499MW of bids for 1,000MW of solar projects that it opened to tender last week.

In what analysts said was a “lukewarm” response, the tender received 92 bids, 38 of which were for 1MW projects, and despite there being no capacity limits, the highest capacity was 50MW, for which there was only one bid.

The 50MW bid was from Sun Edison, which is understood to have submitted similar sized bids in three separate tenders. Other companies included Waaree with 10MW and Welspun with 30MW.

Madhavan Nampoothiri, Founder and Director of RESolve, said the low turnout was due to the rushed allocation process putting “pressure” on prospective bidders.

“The shortfall in applications is a proof of that. The huge interest which was evident during the pre-bid meeting has not translated to actual bidding because of various concerns on the part of the developers,” he said

Another marketing company, Bridge to India, said in its latest report that Tamil Nadu’s state utility Tangedco’s reputation for delaying payments could have been a factor in keeping developers at bay.

Tangedco had previously delayed payments to wind project developers in the state since July 2011, and now owes approximately US$703 million to 400 members of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturing Association.

The Tamil Nadu policy has set a target of 1,500MW of capacity, of which 1,000MW was allocated to competitive bidding. However, both RESolve and Bridge to India agree that it appears the government does not have a back up plan if this goal is not achieved.

The remaining 500MW will be driven by PPAs and a further 350MW capacity will come from rooftop solar installations. Of this, 300MW is expected from the rooftops of government owned buildings, while 50MW is expected from privately owned or domestic rooftops.
 

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