NEW DELHI: Solar power tariffs in India have found a new floor at Rs 2.97 per unit, sinking below the average cost of Rs 3 for electricity supplied by state-run generation utility NTPC from its coal-fired plant.
The record low tariff was quoted by the Mumbai-based real estate developer, for the first unit of the 750 MW Rewa solar park in Madhya Pradesh, the bidding for which closed on Friday.
"India marches on towards realising the clean energy vision of Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi," power minister Piyush Goyal tweeted at the close of bidding.
The quoted tariff is for the first year of the project, which has three units of 250 MW each. The project, however, envisages an annual escalation of 5 paise for 15 years and 33 paise is to be added for levelised tariff.
Levelised tariff in the power sector essentially refers to the average fixed and variable components of tariff over the entire term of the sale agreement, adjusted for inflation.
The quotes by winners of other two units had only fractional difference. German group Solenberg's quote of Rs 2.974 for the third unit was the next lowest, while the Mahindra group won the second unit by quoting Rs 2.979 per unit.
The project is to be completed in 18 months of signing agreements and will supply 80% of the generated power to the state and remaining 20% to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation under a 25-year agreement.
Solar power tariffs have been falling in the last two years due to the Narendra Modi government's thrust on raising India's green energy footprint and reduce oil imports by 10% by 2030.
After coming to power in 2014, the Modi government metamorphosed the UPA's National Solar Mission by setting a target of building 175 giga watt of green energy capacity by 2030.
As reported by TOI, solar tariffs had sunk to Rs 3 per unit Gurgaon-based Amplus Energy Solutions in the auctions conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India for a clutch of rooftop solar power projects.
Till then rhe solar project at Badhla in Rajasthanheld the record for the lowest tariff at Rs 4 per unit in the solar park category. The lowest tariff before that was Rs 4.34 per unit, quoted by Fortum India in January 2016 for one of the six packets of 70 MW (420 MW total) each bid out by state-run generation utility NTPC for an earlier phase of the Bhadla project.
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