After January’s Slump, Solar Auctions Gather Speed in February 2019

About 4 GW of solar capacity was tendered in February 2019


The shortest month of February proved to be a busy one for the solar sector with auction activity increasing exponentially. In February, about 2.7 GW of solar capacity was auctioned in comparison to just 135 MW auctioned in January 2019.

However, tender announcements witnessed a slight decline. About 4 GW of solar capacity was tendered in February, which is approximately 2 GW less than what was tendered in January 2019, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker.

In a year-over-year comparison, the capacity tendered in February 2019 was about 800 MW more than the capacity tendered in February 2018.

According to the tender trajectory issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), approximately 30 GW are expected to be tendered in FY 2018-19. So far, over 50 GW have already been tendered. While these announcements sound positive for the industry, the markets must wait to see if these tenders will turn into auctions.

Here is a quick recap of major tenders and auctions that took place in the month of February 2019:

Major Tenders in February

The Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI) issued the tender for 1,200 MW of ISTS-connected solar power projects (tranche-IV) on a pan India basis.

SECI also issued a tender for the implementation of 1,000 MW grid-connected solar PV power projects by the government producers with viability gap funding (VGF) support.  This capacity has been proposed under the Central Public-Sector Unit (CPSU) program phase-II for self-use or use by government or government entities.

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd. (MSPGCL) has invited bids for 450 MW of solar projects to be located in solar parks.

Major Auctions in February

ReNew Power emerged as the lowest bidder by quoting the lowest tariff of ₹2.55 (~$0.035)/kWh to develop 300 MW in the recent auction conducted by the SECI for 1,200 MW of ISTS-connected solar projects.

Shiv Solar and ACME Solar have quoted the lowest tariff of ₹2.74 (~$0.038)/kWh in the recent auction conducted by the  Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for the purchase of power on long term basis from 1,000 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects (Phase – II).

Image credit: Enerpac