NTPC Renewable Energy has emerged the winner for 325 mega-watt (MW) of solar capacities in the auction for 450 MW of solar plants to be built at the Shajapur solar park in Madhya Pradesh. The company quoted the lowest tariff of Rs 2.35/unit for 105 MW and Rs 2.33/unit for another 220 MW solar capacity. As many as 15 bidders were shortlisted to participate in the auction conducted by state-run Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMSL).
According to sources, SolarArise, which is jointly backed by funds managed by Kotak Mahindra, European Investment Bank and UK-based ThomasLloyd Group, has won the remaining 125 MW capacity against a tariff of Rs 2.34/unit.
As much as 25% solar power from the project will be supplied to the Indian Railways across seven states. “Rather than forcing unwilling discoms to buy renewables, we should facilitate institutional consumers to procure inexpensive solar power,” Manu Srivastava, principal secretary, Madhya Pradesh government, told FE. Srivastava was, till recently, in-charge of RUMSL and was instrumental in conducting the Shajapur solar park auction.
As recently noted by analysts in JM Financial, developers are gradually moving towards individual state tenders, which offer ready solar power offtake agreements, though they come at the risk of not receiving payments on time. Traditionally, solar auctions conducted by central government agencies such as Seci have been more attractive to developers, owing to higher payment security. However, after much lower prices discovered under recent auctions, discoms had developed cold feet on buying power from central government agency projects at tariffs discovered under auctions, leaving large capacity of Seci projects currently without buyers.
NTPC Renewable Energy is the subsidiary incorporated in October 2020 to focus on its green energy business as it intends to have 60,000 MW of green power generation base by 2032 from the current 1,400 MW. The company has recently received the approval of the Union ministry of new and renewable energy to set up a 4,750 MW renewable energy park at Rann of Kutch in Khavada, Gujarat.