Solar Tenders Surge 43% QoQ in Q1 2023, Auctions Decline 50%

Tender announcements were up 172% YoY, and auctions dropped 69%


Solar tenders floated by various agencies in India rose 43% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) to 13.8 GW in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, according to Mercom India Research. The preceding quarter (Q4 2022) saw tenders worth 9.7 GW.

The average quarterly capacity tendered over the last year is similar to the trend in the two years (2018-2019) prior to Covid. However, the number of large tenders (>500 MW) in Q1 2023 increased compared to the preceding quarter.

Tender announcements were up 172% year-over-year (YoY) compared to 5.1 GW.

However, the quarter witnessed a 50% QoQ dip in solar auctions, with only 820 MW. The capacity auctioned dropped 69% over the same period last year, largely due to the uncertainty around the suspension of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) policy.

The tender and auction activity comprises pure solar, solar-wind hybrid, and round-the-clock tenders (RTC), including solar.

Tenders and auctionsTop tender issuing agencies in Q1 2023

Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam (RUVNL) was the top agency accounting for 27% of the total tendered capacity during the quarter.

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) followed with 19%.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) tendered 15% of the capacity during the quarter.

Major Solar Tenders in Q1 2023

SECI issued a tender for selecting solar power developers to set up 2 GW inter-state transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar projects (Tranche XI) in India.

RUVNL invited bids to set up 1.5 GW of ISTS-connected wind-solar hybrid power projects anywhere in India with required storage for distribution companies to have flexibility in power scheduling.

RUVNL also floated a tender for 1.2 GW of solar power projects to be developed with a committed supply for at least six hours during the peak demand periods from an energy storage system.

MPUVNL invited bids to develop approximately 1.1 GW of grid-connected solar projects under component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan program for feeder solarization.

MSEDCL released a tender to procure 1 GW of solar power from projects to be developed in Maharashtra.

Major Auctions in Q1 2023

Sprng Energy, ib vogt, Hinduja Renewables, and Solarcraft Power India 9 (Blupine Energy) won GUVNL’s auction to supply power from 500 MW grid-connected solar power projects (Tranche XVIII) with a greenshoe option of an additional 500 MW.

Tata Power Solar Systems was awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC)  contract for a 300 MW domestic content requirement-based solar project by NLC India.

Mercom had earlier written about stakeholders emphasizing the need for a clear tender trajectory to mitigate project risks for developers and enable more efficient financial planning and supply chain management. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has recently announced that renewable project bids worth 50 GW will be issued annually for the financial years 2024-28, which includes at least 10 GW of wind tenders.

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