India Set To Auction 750 Megawatts of Solar Projects

Indian companies will be bidding on 750 megawatts of solar projects this week as part of a government- funded support program in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

“Tenders for setting up 500 megawatts of capacity in Maharashtra and 250 megawatts in Gujarat’s Charanka solar park will be out this week and awarded in three months,” Ashvini Kumar, managing director at Solar Energy Corp. of India, the implementing agency for central government’s grid-connected solar programs, said Tuesday in an interview.

The bids are part of the second phase of the National Solar Mission through which capacity of at least 2 gigawatts will be auctioned featuring 21 billion rupees ($322 million) of government-funded support.

Of the remaining capacity, tenders for 500 megawatts each will be offered in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in a month and later in Uttar Pradesh in the north, Kumar said.

Initially the program fixed tariffs at 5.43 rupees a kilowatt-hour and proposed to shortlist the bidders requiring the least funding assistance from the government.

Now the government will conduct a two-stage bidding process as companies are expected to quote zero funding support after solar tariffs hit new lows in the auctions conducted in Madhya Pradesh and Telangana the past month.

“Those companies that quote zero funding support will have to then participate in tariff-based bidding,” Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the ministry of new and renewable energy told Bloomberg. This will enable auctioning of more than 2 gigawatts of solar capacity for the same amount of funding support, he said.

India aims to install 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 under the National Solar Mission at an estimated investment of $100 billion. Current solar capacity in the country is just over 4 gigawatts.

©2015 Bloomberg News

Lead image: Golden Sun in India. Credit: Shutterstock.

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