Those who sought less subsidy through viability gap funding bagged most projects
Private firms such as Acme, SunEdison, Azure Power have bagged most of the solar power projects in the financial bidding for 750MW capacity under batch one, phase two of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). The bidding took place on February 21.
Whoever bid for lower viability gap funding (VGF) improved their chances of winning the bids. VGF is the capital subsidy provided to bridge the gap between the project cost dictated by the prevailing electricity rate and the price quoted by a developer. A total of 122 project bids were received from 58 developers.
The 750 MW capacity has been divided into two categories—375 MW each for “domestic content requirement” (DCR) and “open” category. (DCR mandates both solar cells and modules used in a power plant must be made in India.) There was separate bidding for both the categories.
According to Solar Energy Corporation of India, which conducted the bidding process, the lowest and highest VGF under the DCR category were Rs 1.35 crore/MW by Swelect for a 10 MW project and Rs 2.45 crore/MW by Welspun Renewables Energy Limited for a 5 MW project.
The lowest and highest VGF sought for projects in open category were Rs 17 lakh/MW by Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (10 MW) and Rs 1.35 crore/MW by Sunil Hitech Energy Ltd (5 MW).
Officials said under non-DCR category, firms such as Acme, Azure Power and Hero Solar Energy have bagged the projects. Under DCR category, prominent developers allocated projects are SunEdison, SolaireDirect, Azure Power, Waaree, and Hero Solar Energy. Those who have won bids in both categories include Azure Power and Hero Solar Energy Private Limited. The average project size per developer would be around 25 MW.
Favoured sites: Gujarat, Rajasthan
Most of the developers have opted for locations in Gujarat or Rajasthan. Four bids of PMP Auto Components, Zandu Realty, Golden Crystal and Green Energy Wind were cancelled as they did not meet the techno-commercial criteria. The bid by Moser Baer was cancelled as bank guarantee was not provided.
The tariff has been fixed for 25 years—Rs 5.45 per kWh without and Rs 4.95 per kWh with accelerated depreciation (tax benefit)—and will be sold by Solar Energy Corporation of India to state utilities or distribution companies at Rs 5.50 per kWh.
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