Fate of NTPC’s 750 MW Auction at Pavagada Solar Park Appears Uncertain

KREDL issued its own tender, prompting speculation that the agencies disagree over tariffs


Speculation regarding the possible cancellation of the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) auction for 750 MW of grid-connected solar at the Pavagada Solar Park has heated up again.

The notion gained steam after the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) issued its own tender for 1,200 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) to be developed at the solar park in Karnataka’s Tumkur district.

An NTPC official told Mercom India, “We had auctioned the capacity, but it is unlikely this contract will see the light of day. There are issues between us (NTPC and KREDL) due to which the KREDL tendered the entire 1,200 MW capacity.”

“Even if something is to be sorted out, it will take months. So, for the next two to three months, this auction is under uncertainty,” the official added. When asked about the issues between the NTPC and the KREDL, the NTPC official hinted at tariffs for these projects being a bone of contention.

An official at the Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited (KSPDCL) said, “As of now, the NTPC will not be developing any more projects at the Pavagada Solar Park. The KREDL has taken control of the entire tendering and auctioning of the remaining capacity.”

The NTPC had initially re-tendered the capacity in March 2017, after a delay of almost a year caused by insufficient infrastructure and a lack of availability of evacuation facilities.

When contacted, a senior executive working with one of the major winners of the 750 MW NTPC auction at Pavagada confirmed that the NTPC’s contract signing process did not appear to be going smoothly. “It has not been a good experience. Initially, the contract signing was delayed due to the anti-dumping investigation and GST uncertainty. Then, the news that some bidders had signed contracts at low rates started doing the rounds. But, we haven’t had any communication from the NTPC in this regard.”

“Now, the KREDL tender has ensured that this auction gets scuttled in the future,” the senior executive added.

When approached for a comment, an official at the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)  noted that SECI issued its own separate tender for 200 MW of capacity at Pavagada earlier this month. “Apart from this, we are not aware whether the NTPC’s auction will be cancelled or not,” the official said.

Saumy Prateek 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.