India has not too much time left to achieve its 100 GW solar power capacity target which it plans to do by 2022. Hard pressed for time, as of recently it is scrapping big auctions citing too high tariffs offers by the tender winners. SECI’s 3 GW auction is the latest in this scheme of things. Except for ACME Solar that quoted by far the lowest tariff, winning capacities for the rest of the developers have been axed.
- SECI’s recent 3 GW grid connected PV auction in July 2018 has been annulled, according to local media
- Only ACME Solar has been allowed to keep its winning 600 MW capacity as it had offered by far the lowest bid of 2.44 INR ($0.035) per kWh
- Higher tariffs quoted by the rest is the reason behind this decision; winning developers were apparently not ready to bring down their tariffs to match that level
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Even before serious implications of the safeguard duty can be felt in India, the implementing agency of the National Solar Mission (NSM), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has gone ahead and partially scrapped a 3 GW auction it conducted recently.
Except for ACME Solar that quoted the lowest winning tariff of 2.44 INR ($0.035) per kWh to win 600 MW capacity in the said auction, all other winners have been left empty handed (see ACME Sticks To 2.44 INR For 3 GW SECI Auction).
The Economic Times (ET) reported SECI announced the decision to scrap the auction in a meeting with developers and government officials on August 1, 2018. Too high winning tariffs is the reason behind this decision, stated ET referring to developers present at the meeting.
Developers were reportedly asked to lower their bids for the auction that had the highest bid of 2.71 INR ($0.040) per kWh. Losing the awarded capacity were SoftBank’s SBE Renewables that had secured 1.1 GW, ReNew Solar Power and Adani’s Mahoba Solar UP letting go of 500 MW and 300 MW, respectively. Azure Power had won 300 MW, while Canadian Solar’s Rutherford Solarfarms lost 200 MW.
While SECI hasn’t annulled the auction completely, recently Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) cancelled a 1 GW auction for the same reason (see 1 GW PV Auction Scrapped In India). Earlier in April 2018, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) cancelled a 500 MW PV auction, complaining about high winning tariffs (see 500 MW PV Auction Scrapped In Gujarat).
With the government slapping 25% safeguard duty on imported solar cells from China and Malaysia, which are the backbone of module supply for India, developers have naturally drawn their consequences to raise prices for their projects (see 25% Safeguard Duty Imposed By India).
While there is no official word from SECI or MNRE so far, it remains to be seen how negative the safeguard duties’ impacts will be to the ambitious solar growth plans of the Indian government.