In the bidding for solar projects totalling 420 MW in Rajasthan under the National Solar Mission, the winning solar power tariff bid touched a new low of Rs 4.34 per unit, entered by Finnish solar power company Fortum Energy for a 70 Mw project. However, lowering of benchmark tariff by the central government did not go too well in Maharashtra which saw subdued interest from the companies participating in bidding for 500 MW in the state.
Rajasthan saw a spurt of foreign companies lining up for solar projects. American company Rising Sun Energy quoted a solar power tariff of Rs 4.35 per unit for two projects with total capacity of 140 MW. French major Solaire Direct has quoted same tariff for same capacity projects. Among the domestic ones, India Bulls through its subsidiary Yarrow Infra won 70 MW by quoting Rs 4.36 per unit.
Fortum’s quoted tariff is the lowest bid received in solar power projects till yet. The last lowest bid was Rs 4.63 per unit by Japan’s SoftBank through its joint venture in India – SBG Cleantech for 350 MW in Andhra Pradesh.
In the wake of constantly falling solar tariff, the government benchmarked the solar tariff at Rs 4.43 per unit. Maharashtra’s 500 mw was the first one to come up for bidding under the changed norm. At this fixed tariff the government is providing viability gap funding of up to Rs 1 crore for each MW (Rs 1.3 crore for domestic content based projects) payable in six instalments. VGF-based bidding is conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India.
Bidders will be allocated projects on the basis of most competitive VGF quotes. The Maharashtra tender received bids from 14 developers for total capacity of less than 1.8 GW in contrast to NTPC’s recent 500 MW tender in Andhra Pradesh which received bids aggregating 5.5 GW from 30 bidders. Market experts said the reason for subdued demand was because the change was made at the last moment.
The last bidding for solar power park of 500 MW in Andhra Pradesh witnessed lowest bid of Rs 4.63 per unit by US solar company SunEdison.