Daily News Wrap-Up: SAEL, Avaada Win MSEDCL’s 500 MW Solar Auction

CEA proposes guidelines for utilities to prepare energy demand forecast

April 14, 2023


SAEL Industries and Avaada Energy have won Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company’s auction to supply 500 MW of solar power from intrastate grid-connected solar projects. SAEL won 100 MW by quoting ₹2.87(~$0.034)/kWh, and Avaada won the rest of 400 MW at a tariff of ₹2.88(~$0.035).

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has released draft guidelines for utilities to prepare medium- and long-term forecasts to assess the power demand in the country. Utilities will design the power consumption forecast, including meeting the demand from distributed power sources such as captive power plants and solar rooftops. The draft proposed that medium-term forecasts must be prepared for over 1 year and up to 5 years, while long-term forecasts must be prepared for over 5 years. The CEA suggested that the annual growth rate in the past for each energy consumption category should be analyzed.

China has set a massive target of 160 GW of solar and wind energy capacity additions in 2023, up 13.5% from the actual installations in 2022. The country’s National Energy Administration (NEA) said it would step up efforts to boost new energy development to meet its green commitments. China aims to raise the proportion of wind and solar power in total electricity consumption to 15.3% from 13.8% last year and the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 18.3% from 17.4% in 2022. In a guideline, the NEA said China will also steadily promote the construction of offshore wind power bases and develop offshore solar projects this year.

Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited bids for designing, engineering, testing, and commissioning a 300 MW ground-mounted solar project at Ramagiri in Andhra Pradesh. The scope of work includes operating and maintaining the solar project for five years after being commissioned. The project must be commissioned within 12 months from the award notification date. Bidders must furnish an Earnest Money Deposit of ₹89 million (~$1 million). They must pay a tender processing fee of ₹25,000 (~$305.4).

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) has invited bids to develop 88 MW of solar projects in the Nagpur region of Maharashtra. The last date to submit the bid is May 8, 2023. Bids will open on the same day. MSEDCL has set a ceiling tariff of ₹3.20 (~$0.03)/kWh. Bidders must furnish an earnest money deposit of ₹100,000 (~$1,222)/MW. It will be valid for 6 months from the last date of bid submission. Successful bidders must remit a performance bank guarantee of ₹500,000 (~$6,109)/MW within 30 days from the date of the work order, which would be valid for 14 months from the effective date.

Solar and wind energy comprised 12% of the electricity generated globally in 2022, leading to a record low carbon intensity of 436 gCO2/kWh, according to independent think tank Ember. The growth in wind and solar generation (~557 TWh) alone met 80% of global electricity demand growth in 2022 (~694 TWh). All clean energy sources, including renewables and nuclear, comprised 39% of global electricity.

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for onshore wind and utility-scale solar is now competitive with conventional generation technologies, even without subsidies in some locations, a report by Lazard, an asset management and financial advisory company, said. It added that the cost of unsubsidized onshore wind can range from $24/MWh to $75/MWh, and the cost of utility-scale solar can range from $24/MWh to $96/MWh.

Government-owned lender Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched a pilot program — Mission 50K-EV4ECO — to bring down the cost of capital for purchasing electric vehicles (EVs), especially 2- and 3- wheelers, through direct and indirect lending. This program is the precursor to EVOLVE by SIDBI-World Bank. SIDBI said a detailed discussion with stakeholders revealed that access to adequate finance at competitive rates has challenged micro, small, and medium enterprises in adopting EVs.