Solar tariffs plunge by 15%, set record low at Rs 2.00 per unit

BENGALURU: Solar tariffs fell to a new low of Rs 2.00 per unit, about 15% lower than the previous record as foreign and Indian companies bid aggressively in Monday’s auction by the Solar Energy Corp of India.

In the 1,070 MW solar auction, Singapore based Sembcorp Energy and Saudi Arabia based Aljomaih Energy and Water Company won 400MW and 200MW respectively at a tariff of Rs 2.00 per unit. The remaining 470MW was bagged by NTPC at a tariff of Rs 2.01 per unit.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India is the nodal agency through which the renewable energy ministry holds wind and solar power auctions. It confirmed the results of the auction.

The lowest so far had been Rs 2.36 per unit which was reached in an auction (also conducted by SECI) in July. Over 5700 MW of bids were received for the 1070 MW tender.

This tender may have received an encouraging response because Rajasthan distribution companies have agreed to purchase the power. “The usual offtake uncertainty is not there,” Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director of renewable energy consultancy firm Bridge To India told ET earlier.

The ministry has slowly been moving away from conducting auctions for plain solar and wind projects. The enthusiastic response for this tender could be attributed to the fact that developers prefer to participate in plain vanilla auctions over hybrid and storage based ones. “There is a stronger preference for (plain) solar tenders because of technical and execution simplicity,” he said.


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