• SECI announces winners of the tender for 160 MW solar PV power projects in the Charanka Solar Park in Gujarat
  • Gujarat Industries Power Co won two projects of 40 MW capacity each, Orange Renewables and Mahindra Renewables each won a 40 MW project
  • According to local media reports, all bids offered the same tariff of 4.43 INR per kWh, so SECI adjudged winners on the basis of lowest VGF sought

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has awarded 160 MW solar PV power projects at the Charanka Solar Park in the state of Gujarat. The four projects of 40 MW capacity each are reported to have been won by state-owned Gujarat Industries Power Co (two projects with a total capacity of 80 MW), Mahindra Renewables (40 MW) and Orange Renewables (40 MW).

These projects are part of the 250 MW capacity that SECI had issued request for proposals for in April 2016 (see Gujarat Solar Park Bid).

Though SECI hasn’t yet officially published the results, Indian business daily The Economic Times (ET) reported on June 27, 2016 that all the bids quoted the same tariff of 4.43 INR per kWh ($0.07). That’s the same tariff level at which Finnish company Fortum Corporation won a 70 MW PV project of 70 MW in the state of Rajasthan, which was also the first time India had seen such low tariffs for solar project auctions.

According to ET, SECI selected the winners on the basis of the lowest subsidy or viability gap funding (VGF). VGF is the grant that the government gives to projects that have potential to offer higher returns but fall short of investment. The government then steps in to offer some funding to make it more viable and attractive for private investment.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) offers VGF of up to 10 million INR per MW ($147,000) to solar developers. For the Gujarat project, Gujarat Industries asked for VGF of 6.799 million INR per MW ($100,000) for one project, and for the other the same was 6.975 million INR per MW ($102,000). The ET article quoted a top official of SECI to report that Orange Renewables had quoted 7.025 million INR per MW ($103,000), while Mahindra Renewables set the same at 7.777 million INR per MW ($114,000).

The Charanka Solar Park, being developed by the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) as the first of its kind multi-developer, multi facility, multi technology and multi beneficiary solar park in the world, is a hybrid park with both solar and wind capacities here. The total capacity of the park is set at 590 MW.

SECI officials said that the results for the entire 250 MW capacity will be published in next few days.