• SECI has received bids adding up to a total of 1,050 MW for its ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power tender
  • The capacity offered by SECI was 1.2 GW, which had already been reduced from the original 2.5 GW
  • Adani Green offered a bid of 600 MW, SoftBank’s SB Energy bids for 450 MW
  • Developers found ceiling tariff of INR 2.70 ($0.038) per kWh as too aggressive, and also they feel it is difficult to find locations that could be suitable for both solar and wind power technologies to exist together

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has received bids for a total of 1,050 MW for the wind-solar hybrid power tender it launched in June 2018 offering 2.5 GW capacity to be developed across India (see 2.5 GW Hybrid Wind-PV Tender In India). Following a tepid response from developers, SECI reduced the capacity of the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected wind-solar hybrid tender to 1.2 GW.

According to Mercom India Research, the tender was undersubscribed – SECI received 150 MW fewer bids than planned. Adani Green offered a bid of 600 MW of the total and SoftBank’s SB Energy bid for 450 MW. These two bids also came in after SECI took the maximum bid capacity to 600 MW, from earlier 500 MW.

Ceiling tariff for the tender was fixed at INR 2.93 ($0.043) per kWh originally and later reduced to INR 2.60 ($0.036) per kWh, but finally increased to INR 2.70 ($0.038) per kWh. Project commissioning date will be 18 months from the date of signing the PPA, and financial closure needs to be attained within 12 months of the PPA.

According to Mercom the ceiling tariff was considered aggressive by the developer community and also the latter finds it difficult to find a good site for both solar and wind power together.

As SECI goes about evaluating the bids received, Mercom quoted an unidentified source as saying, “There is a provision in the RfS that if the bid received is higher than 50% of the tendered capacity but undersubscribed, then SECI can go ahead and auction 80% of the bid capacity (1,050 MW), which is 840 MW. So, the 1,200 MW tender will most likely be reduced to 840 MW.”

Post 25% safeguard duty implementation by the Indian government on solar products sourced from China and Malaysia, the solar power tender/auction scene slowed down in India. SECI has had to bring down the manufacturing capacity in the 5 GW tender linked with 10 GW solar power project capacity to 3 GW of production capacity along with introducing several other changes (see SECI Lowers Manufacturing Share In 5 GW Tender).

Now, The Economic Times has reported that Azure Power bid for 2 GW of power project capacity under the tender with 600 MW of solar equipment manufacturing capacity, while the rest of the big Indian players has stayed away from the tender as they resist, what is seen as an attempt by the government to get developers into manufacturing. Rumor has it that SECI may now be looking at scrapping the tender altogether.

The Financial Express reported that the government has asked SECI to issue 4 GW of total solar power capacity tenders between November 2018 and February 2019 in order to speed up the country’s pace to achieving its target of 100 GW of solar power capacity by 2022. As per government statistics, on July 31, 2018 India’s cumulative operational solar power capacity was over 23 GW.