SECI’s 1.2k-MW tender draws strong interest

In what appears to be a distinct improvement in developers response to solar tenders, SECI’s latest bid submission of 1200MW drew 3500MW of bids.

This is in contrast to several other bids which drew no response at all over the last few months. Even this particular tender is being issued for the third time, first two occasions having got a poor response.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India is the renewable energy ministry’s nodal agency through which it holds solar and wind auctions. Leading developers such as Renew Power, SB Energy, Avaada Power, Brookfield, Tata PowerNSE 0.49 % submitted bids, sources said.

One of the main reasons for the lack of response was the safeguard duty that the government imposed on imported solar panels and modules a year and a half ago that SECI had not so far taken into consideration while setting its ceiling tariff for different auctions.

For the first time in this auction, it has inserted a crucial clause in its proposed PPA, maintaining that the impact of safeguard duty and any other duties that might be imposed in the future such as basic customs duty will be taken into consideration.

“For the first time, tariff revision has been allowed in case of duty imposed, under change in law. It will change by 0.05 paisa/kwh for every Rs 1lakh of impact either way due to imposition of safeguard duty or customs duty on PV modules,” said a developer, requesting anonymity.

The ceiling tariff for this auction is Rs 2.78 per unit. “ In earlier SECI solar tenders, the ceiling tariff was set between Rs 2.55-2.71 per unit. This is another reason why the tender has been oversubscribed,” said Jyoti Gulia, founder of renewable energy consultancy firm, JMK Research.

Projects can be located in any part of India and will be linked to the interstate transmission system to supply power anywhere in the country.

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