Daily News Wrap-Up: Solar Auctions Surge 82% YoY in 2023

MNRE adds 64 MW of new solar module capacity to the ALMM

January 31, 2024


Solar auctions during the calendar year 2023 witnessed an 82% year-over-year (YoY) growth, with 22.2 GW projects auctioned, according to Mercom India Research. Falling module prices, streamlined balance of system (BoS) and modules’ supply, and stable BoS prices drove the auction activity in 2023. Solar tender activity in 2023 surged by 50% YoY, with multiple entities announcing tenders totaling over 57 GW.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has expanded the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) by adding 64 MW of new solar module capacity. The cumulative module manufacturing capacity now stands at 22,191 MW. With the latest addition, the ALMM now has 72 module manufacturers. Nearly half or 39 companies have enlisted module capacities of 500 Wp and above. Even after the latest update, the ALMM has no foreign manufacturers.

Torrent Power, ReNew Solar Power, TEQ Green Power XIII (O2 Power), NTPC Renewable Energy, ACME Cleantech Solutions, and Tata Power Renewable were declared winners in REMC Limited’s auction to supply 750 MW of round-the-clock power from grid-connected renewable projects with or without storage across India for 25 years. Torrent Power quoted the lowest tariff of ₹4.25 (~$0.051)/kWh to win 100 MW. ReNew Solar, TEQ Green Power, NTPC Renewable Energy, and ACME Cleantech Solutions quoted ₹4.37 (~$0.052)/kWh and won 200 MW, 100 MW, 200 MW, and 100 MW respectively.

NTPC Renewable Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTPC, has invited bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction of 500 MW (2x 250 MW) grid-connected solar power projects in Bikaner, Rajasthan. The last date for the submission of bids is February 28, 2024. Bids will be opened the same day. The bid security for a single block is ₹100 million (~$1.2 million) and ₹200 million (~$2.4 million) for two blocks.

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam has invited bids to procure power from 1,125 MW grid-connected solar power projects to be set up in Gujarat State Electricity Corporation’s renewable energy park at Khavda without energy storage. The last date for the submission of bids is February 15, 2024. Bids will be opened on February 19. Bidders must submit ₹25,000 (~$300) + 18% GST as cost of the tender document. The bid processing fee is ₹300,000 (~$3,603).

The Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency has invited bids to empanel developers to commission 250 MW of grid-connected solar power projects under “Mukhyamantri Saur Swarojgar Yojana.” The selected developers must also oversee the project’s comprehensive operation and maintenance for five years. The last day to submit the bids is February 8, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day.

The Assam Power Distribution Company has invited expressions of interest for project management consultant services for a 1,000 MW grid-connected solar project in Karbi Anglong district of Assam. The solar project, financed by the Asian Development Bank, is part of the ‘Mukhya Mantri Sauro Shakti Prokolpo’ initiative of the Assam government. The last date for submission of EoI is February 25, 2024.

Switzerland-based responsAbility, an impact-investment firm with over $4.7 billion in assets under management, said it would invest up to $25 million in BluSmart, an electric vehicle (EV) ride-hailing service in India. The investment, part of responsAbility’s broader $500 million climate strategy aimed at reducing carbon emissions in Asia through investments in low-emission technologies, will help BluSmart expand its EV charging infrastructure to enable large-scale adoption of electric mobility.

China’s cumulative installed power capacity reached approximately 2.92 TW, a YoY increase of 13.9%, with solar power accounting for 609.49 GW, a YoY 55.2% jump. According to China’s National Energy Administration, the country added 216.9 GW of solar capacity in 2023, marking a 148 % YoY increase compared to 87.4 GW in 2022. Major power generation enterprises invested CNY967.5 billion (~$151.17 billion) in power projects, representing a 30.1% YoY increase.

Germany-based solar wafer manufacturer NexWafe has set up a subsidiary in the U.S. to explore establishing a multi-gigawatt scale production facility with an initial capacity of 6 GW. The North American facility will leverage NexWafe’s production technology from its 250 MW under-construction commercial facility in Bitterfeld, Germany. According to NexWafe, its patented green solar wafer manufacturing simplifies polysilicon production reduces energy use and production time, helping cut production costs for n-type monocrystalline wafers.