AHMEDABAD: Gujarat has equalled the record of fetching the lowest tariff for solar power in India. The reverse e-auction carried out on Monday by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) for 500 MW solar power capacity saw two power developers quoting a tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit.
This lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit was first achieved in May 2017 through a 500 MW auction conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for Bhadla Phase-III Solar Park in Rajasthan.
“The lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit was reached in the bidding conducted today by GUVNL for 500 MW solar power. It is at par with the historic low solar tariff achieved in an auction last year for Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan,” said Pankaj Joshi, managing director, GUVNL.
Aditya Birla Renewables Ltd and Giriraj Renewables Private Ltd bagged contracts to supply 100 MW and 300 MW solar power respectively by quoting Rs 2.44 per unit. Azure Power India Private Ltd won 100 MW capacity for Rs 2.45/ unit.
These low tariffs assume importance as there were apprehensions of increase in solar power rates after the imposition of safeguard duty on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia. Indian solar power developers heavily depend on imports for their projects.
In fact, GUVNL had to scrap the 500 MW tender in April last year as it found the tariffs quoted by successful bidders to be higher. Then, Kalathia Engineering had emerged as the lowest bidder with Rs 2.98 per unit rate.
The annulled tender was re-issued by GUVNL in June 2018 and 13 companies participated by placing bids aggregating 2,000 MW. Amid fears of rising solar power tariffs post imposition of safeguard duty, GUVNL had also raised the ceiling tariff to Rs 3 per unit from Rs 2.75 per unit.
“Despite higher cap, the lowest price has been achieved and this shows that there is still an appetite for providing solar power at affordable prices,” said a source close to the development. GUVNL had received the lowest bid of Rs 2.65 per unit when it auctioned 500 MW capacity in September last year.
Gujarat is also credited for discovering the lowest price of Rs 2.43 per unit for wind power through tariff-based auction, which was completed in December 2017.