rss
5

Engie Solar sets new record low solar tariff in India with 250MW plant

Print Friendly

PV Magazine

The winning bid for 250 MW solar project in NTPC-tendererd auction in Andhra Pradesh by Solairedirect is 4.5% lower than previous record price of $US0.0494/kWh set earlier this year at the Rewa auction.

Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons, GFDL

Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons, GFDL

India has set another new low benchmark for solar power tariffs, with French firm Solairedirect (now incorporated in the Engie Solar division) securing a 250 MW tender in Andhra Pradesh with a winning bid of INR 3.15/kWh ($0.0486/kWh).

The project was tendered by India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at the Kadapa Solar Park, reports Mercom Capital Group, and will have a 13-month completion timeframe from the date at which the power purchase agreement (PPA) is signed.

This record low price was confirmed by Indian energy minister Piyush Goyal, who tweeted: “Clean affordable power for all: solar achieves another record low of INR 3.15/unit (flat rate) during auction in Kadapa, AP by NTPC.”

An NTPC official expressed surprise at the low tenders, stating that they were expecting prices closer to INR 3.50 ($0.054)/kWh. Instead, Solairedirect’s bid led a competitive field that also included tariffs below the INR 4 mark lodged by Canadian Solar and Ostro Energy. The highest tariff – lodged by Mahindra Renewable Private Limited – was INR 4.68 ($0.0723)/kWh.

Mercom Capital Group said that this tender is an accurate indicator that future auctions in Andhra Pradesh and India as a whole are now likely to be in the $0.054/kWh range.

The previous national record was set only recently at Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa auction in February. Then, a tariff of INR 3.30 ($0.0494)/kWh turned heads, with Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu warning against this price being seen as a new normal for Indian solar.

This latest lowering of the price floor came via a French firm that has 182 MW of solar projects in India at various stages of operation and construction.

The solar capacity tendered at the Kadapa Solar Park under India’s National Solar Mission was actually part of a tranche of re-tendered projects that had initially been scrapped by the NTPC due to ongoing delays.

Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.

  

  • George Darroch

    Since Engie operates here, this is good news for Australia.

    • Brunel

      Nope. Aussie states do not bother doing solar power auctions.

      India is getting high speed rail too.

      Go figure.

  • Just_Chris

    My opinion is this is going to be the story going forward in countries with good renewable resources. Solar and wind will start to undercut everything except perhaps hydroelectric. The interesting thing to my simple mind is what fills the gap when they are not there – batteries, solar thermal plus salt, gas, hydrogen, tidal in some locations and perhaps more pumped hydro. If the wind or solar come in at less than 5 c/kWh the technology covering the gaps has a lot of head room on price especially if it is only needed 30-40% of the time.

    • Tim Buckley

      What fills the gap for solar and wind is a key question. But as you mention, there are a number of options like solar thermal, wind-to-hydrogen and definitely a lot more pumped hydro storage. But that is also where a massive global buildout of offshore wind in the coming decade will also help – offshore wind operates at a 45-50% utilisation (a lot higher than onshore wind), providing system diversity and load balancing potential. Demand response management will also play a key role – variable supply requires variable demand (responding to a peak price signal to curtail demand). India and China both have the benefit of a 1.2-1.3bn population solution served by a nationally connected smart grid. Building international grid connectivity is also part of the answer, hence when Minister Piyush Goyal is expanding grid connectivity into Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh as we speak. Given time and investment, engineers can find a clear and viable set of solutions.

  • Brunel

    Fantastic!