India Achieves Record Low Price for Large Scale Solar Plant

  • A new 500MW solar auction in the Indian state of Gujarat has resulted in a nation-wide record-low tariff.

A 500MW solar auction in the Indian state of Gujarat has resulted in a nation-wide record-low tariff of INR1.99/kWh ($AU0.036/kWh), 0.5% lower than the previous record set last month.

Various media outlets, quoting sources speaking to Indian media outlet PTI, have reported that the 500MW solar auction held by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited, an electrical services company in Gujarat, yielded a new record low tariff.

“Now the solar power tariff has dropped to a new low of Rs 1.99 per unit in an auction for 500MW projects by GUVNL last week,” a source told PTI.

PTI’s source further revealed that State-run power giant NTPC, Torrent Power, Saudi Arabian firm Al Jomaih Energy & Water Company, and Aditya Birla Renewable each walked away with contracts by quoting INR1.99/kWh per unit.

NTPC was reportedly awarded 200MW worth of solar contracts, Torrent Power 100MW, Al Jomaih Energy & Water Company 80MW, and Aditya Birla Renewable 120MW.

The new record-low tariff is 0.5% below the previous record, set only last month in a solar auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which had resulted in a low bid of INR2/kWh.

The 1.07GW solar auction saw winners revealed at the end of November, and in addition to the 400MW awarded to Indian energy company Green Infra Wind Energy Ltd, contracts were awarded to two of the same players from this month’s auction, with the Aljomaih Energy and Water Company walking away with 200WM and NTPC with 470MW (though NTPC won their capacity at INR2.01/kWh).

Indian solar industry body Solar Power Developers Association lauded the November record, attributing the new low price to India’s Central Government’s stable policies and proactive role in the sector.

“Prime minister Narendra Modi laid the ground with a grand vision of adding 175 GW of renewables by 2022 and further revising the target to 450 GW by 2030.

“The program has enabled developers to achieve the necessary scale and has been one reason for the rapid decline in tariffs. It also reinforces the confidence shown by national and international investors in India’s renewable growth story.”

These latest two record-beating low tariff prices followed several months after the previous record was set, in the middle of the year when a 2GW solar auction, again held by SECI, awarded record low solar tariffs of INR2.36/kWh.

Source: Renew Economy
Date: Jan 6, 2021