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India’s SECI defers 10 GW solar auction, again


India’s SECI defers 10 GW solar auction, again

India’s much-hyped 10 GW solar auction has hit another roadblock. The state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)’s tender bids for 10 GW of ISTS-connected solar PV power projects linked with 3 GW (per annum) solar man-ufacturing capacity, has now been extended to October 12.

From pv magazine India

This is the third extension of the bid submission deadline for what the government claims is the largest tender of its kind in the world. The bids were initially due on September 27.

According to news reports, just one bidder – Azure Power – turned up for the bidding on September 27, compelling the authorities to extend the deadline to October 12.

The bidders have reportedly requested an extension for securing tie-ups for domestic manufacturing and completing ongoing negotiations for sourcing modules at better prices.

The government’s decision to set the maximum permissible tariff for the tender at Rs 2.75 (US$0.038) per unit is another deterrent.

Commenting, solar consultant, Urvish Dave told pv magazine India, “By deferring and cancelling bids, the agencies are not only restricting entry of many new and qualified solar power developers, but may also knowingly or unknowingly limiting best possible technology optimisations. It should be noted that the end product is not mere addition of solar capacity but the lifetime energy productions (LCOE) of the same.”

“Such flip-flop of policies deters developers from participating in large tenders. That is why we stay away from SECI tenders. India has one of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy targets but there are no definite policies to attain that target. SECI deferring such a large tender is not a good sign,” added Govind Pingle, Operations & Business Development Manager, Agrawal Renewable Energy, in a seperate statement to pv magazine India.

In May 2018, SECI tendered 5 GW of manufacturing capacity linked to ISTS-connected solar projects for an aggregate capacity of 10 GW. Later, the nodal agency reduced the manufacturing capacity from 5 GW to 3 GW and the minimum bid capacity from 1 GW to 600 MW.

The government introduced the manufacturing-linked solar scheme this year, under which developers have been assured power purchase agreements (PPA). However, many developers are reluctant to participate in manufacturing-linked tenders, as manufacturing is not their core competency.

Source PV Magazine

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