The latest reverse auction for 1,170 mega-watt (MW) of solar capacity, conducted by state-run NTPC, has discovered a tariff of Rs 2.43 per unit. This is the second lowest tariff for solar power till date and comes on the heels of the record low bid of Rs 2.36/unit received in the auction for 2,000 MW of solar capacity held on June 30.
The lowest solar tariff found previously was Rs 2.44 per unit in the July 2018 auction.
According to media reports, O2 Power — jointly backed by Sweden’s EQT Infrastructure and Singapore-based Temasek — quoted the lowest tariff for building 400 MW solar project. Azure Power (Indian firm listed in the New York stock exchange) and Tata Power matched the lowest tariff, and have been awarded 300 MW and 370 MW, respectively. The Indian arm of Canada-based Amp Energy Green bid Rs 2.44 per unit for 100 MW capacity.
As it was with the last two major solar tender auctioned by the Solar Energy Corporation (SECI) in February, the winning developers are backed mostly by foreign capital. The renewable energy industry is one of the major FDI (foreign direct investment) earners with the sector attracting $4.8 billion foreign capital till 2019 end since FY15.
NTPC will be the aggregator and will supply power to states from solar plants owned by these developers after signing power purchase agreements.
India has set a target to raise the capacity of installed renewable energy generation plants from the current level of 87.7 GW to 175 GW by the end of 2022. About 35 GW is under various stages of implementation and 32 GW under various stages of bidding. If the 45.7 GW of hydro and 6.8 GW of nuclear capacities are included, the target under the Paris climate change accord of having 40 per cent of installed power generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources will be achieved by 2022 itself.