After January Surge, Solar Tender Activity Slowed in February
Implementing agencies fell short of the February tender target set by MNRE as regulatory uncertainty hampered activity
After an unprecedented volume of tenders issued in January, implementing agencies could not maintain the momentum in February as bidders became reluctant in the face of potential new tariffs.
Tender announcements by national and state-level agencies fell to just over 3.5 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects from more than 5.5 GW logged during the first month of the year. The drop came as an unenthusiastic bidder response prompted three states to postpone the bid-submission deadlines for projects totaling 2 GW during the month.
Conversely, solar project auction announcements soared to about 760 MW from just over 20 MW in January due entirely to a 760 MW auction announcement by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited. However, enthusiasm for that auction was dampened after it was placed on hold by the Karnataka High Court.
Overall, it proved to be a slower month as implementing agencies fell short of reaching the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) goal to issue 5 GW of tenders in February.
The goal was part of an ambitious plan issued by MNRE in November 2017 that also called for issuing 3 GW of solar tenders in December, 3 GW in January, 5 GW in February and 6 GW in March.
Going by the tender trajectory, February should have logged tenders aggregating 5 GW of solar. However, the actual total was only 3.5 GW, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker. Auction activity on the other hand has been anemic over the past three months.
Here is a quick recap of the major tenders and auctions that took place in February 2018:
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) tendered 3 GW of Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) connected solar PV projects to be developed across the country.
Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) tendered 500 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed across the state. The tender had a greenshoe option for another 500 MW of solar.
Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) auctioned 760 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to be developed across 38 taluks in the state. However, the Karnataka High Court has put a temporary stay order on the auction.
Mercom reported last month that the bid-submission deadlines for more than 2 GW of planned solar tenders were postponed across three Indian states last month after bidders were deterred by uncertainty about proposed duties on critical project components.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.