Daily News Wrap-Up: Lowest Wind-Solar Hybrid Tariffs in India During 2023

SECI floats tender for 1.5 GW of ISTS-connected solar projects

January 2, 2024


There has been an increase in wind-solar hybrid projects to meet the round-the-clock renewable energy demand in India. The lowest tariff discovered in wind-solar hybrid auctions came in at ₹3.07 (~$0.0368)/kWh, 21% higher than the lowest tariff of ₹2.53 (~$0.0304)/kWh in 2022. The tariff increase was driven by the wind turbine shortage and the rise in wind project costs. The lowest tariff of ₹3.07 (~$0.0368)/kWh was quoted by Amp Energy India in the auction to develop 150 MW of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid projects by Kolkata-based power utility company CESC.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited bids to set up 1,500 MW Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS)-connected solar power projects in India under Tranche XIII. The last date for the submission of bids is January 31, 2024. Bidders have to submit a bid document fee of ₹29,500 (~$354.67) and a bid processing fee of ₹500,000 (~$6,012) + applicable taxes for each project for quoted capacity from 50 MW up to 90 MW and ₹1.5 million (~$18,034.5) + applicable taxes for each project from 100 MW and above the quoted capacity. Bidders also have to furnish an earnest money deposit of ₹928,000 (~$11,157.8).

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited bids from scheduled commercial banks or financial institutions for a term loan of ₹10 billion (~$120.24 million) to develop a 300 MW solar power project in the Ramagiri village of Sri Satya Sai District in Andhra Pradesh.The loan must be on a single/multiple bank lending basis at a competitive rate of interest for 20 years, including a moratorium of two years. The minimum amount to be offered by the bank must be ₹2.5 billion (~$30.06 million) and in multiples of ₹2.5 billion (~$30.06 million) thereafter.

Mumbai-based solar module manufacturer Waaree Energies has filed draft papers with the market regulator to raise ₹30 billion (~$361 million) in an initial public offering (IPO). The IPO will feature a fresh issue of 3.2 million shares and an offer for sale of 2.7 million shares by promoter shareholder Waaree Sustainable Finance, 450,000 shares by Chandurkar Investments, and 50,000 shares by Samir Surendra Shah, according to the draft red herring prospectus filed with Securities and Exchange Board of India. The shares have a face value of ₹10 (~$0.12).

In 2023, a total of 7.77 GW of wind-solar hybrid tenders were floated by various implementing agencies, compared to 4 GW in 2022, according to Mercom India Research. NTPC floated the largest tender to set up 1,500 MW of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power projects. The developers were asked to maintain an energy supply to achieve an annual supply corresponding to the annual capacity utilization factor (CUF) of not less than 80% of the declared value and not more than 120% of the declared CUF value during the power purchase agreement duration of 25 years.

A total of 21 GW of wind energy tenders were floated by various agencies in 2023,  according to Mercom India Research. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) floated the top three tenders, and the fourth and fifth by NTPC Renewable Energy and Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam. The largest wind tender in 2023 was floated by SECI to set up 1.35 GW ISTS-connected wind power projects (Tranche-XVI) with a 700 MW greenshoe option. The projects will be located in Gujarat (1 GW + 500 MW greenshoe), Karnataka (250 MW + 150 MW), and Rajasthan (100 MW + 50 MW).

With the introduction of the wind purchase obligation, there has been a significant increase in wind capacity auctioned in India during the year. The lowest tariff of ₹2.91 (~$0.0349)/kWh was quoted by Juniper Green Energy, which won 50 MW in the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam’s auction to supply power from 300 MW of grid-connected wind projects (Phase-IV) with a greenshoe option of 300 MW. The other auction participants – WYN Renewables (EDF Renewables) and ACME Pokharan Solar won 100 MW each by quoting ₹3 (~$0.0360)/kWh and ₹3.01 (~$0.0362)/kW, respectively. Solarcraft Power India (Blupine Energy) won 50 MW at ₹3.01 (~$0.0362)/kWh out of the quoted capacity of 100 MW.

Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Project has invited two separate bids to develop three floating solar projects with a total capacity of 490 MW in two reservoirs in Madhya Pradesh. Bidders must develop a 250 MW floating solar project at Birsinghpur Reservoir. The last day to submit the bids is March 20, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. Bidders must develop 240 MW (2×120 MW) floating solar projects at Omkareshwar Reservoir. The last day to submit the bids is January 4, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day.

Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has condoned the delay in the commissioning of solar power projects by a developer and allowed the extension of the scheduled commercial operation date. Consequently, a tariff of ₹8.40 (~$0.10)/kWh is allowed as agreed in the power purchase agreement.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has ruled in favor of two rooftop solar consumers and held that they are eligible for a tariff of ₹3.57 (~$0.043)/ kWh for the net energy injected into the grid. The condition for availing of this tariff is the execution of a new power purchase agreement within two months.

U.S.-based solar technology company First Solar has entered into two separate tax credit transfer agreements to sell $500 million and up to $200 million of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) advanced manufacturing production tax credits to Fiserv, a financial technology services provider. According to the terms of these agreements, Fiserv will acquire the tax credits at a rate of $0.96 per $1 during the first half of 2024. This price includes fees and commissions paid by First Solar to the placement agent.