The lowest bid, seeking 90 MW at Rs 2.65 per kwH, was made by GRT Jewellers India, a renowned name in the jewellery business
BENGALURU: A reverse auction of 500 MW of solar projects held by the Gujarat government on Tuesday saw the lowest winning bid at Rs 2.65 per kwH. This was the first solar auction held after the two conducted by Solar Corporation of India in May, when one of the winning bidders had promised to sell power at a record low of Rs 2.44 per kwH.
The auctions in May were held for projects at the Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, where solar radiation is the highest in the country. It was expected that winning bids at the latest auction conducted by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, as the state’s nodal power company is called, would be a shade higher.
This is because Gujarat has less intense solar radiation than Rajasthan, and the developers will not be provided land in solar parks — they will have to acquire land on their own. Further, in the four months since the last auction, the cost of solar modules in China, from where 90% of Indian solar developers source their equipment, have begun rising, after having fallen steeply for two years before that.
The lowest bid, seeking 90 MW at Rs 2.65 per kwH, was made by GRT Jewellers India, a renowned name in the jewellery business. The company, headquartered in Chennai, is venturing into solar for the first time. The second and third lowest bidders were both state-owned power generation companies — Gujarat State Electricity Corporation and Gujarat Industries Power Company — bidding for 75 MW each at Rs 2.66 and Rs 2.67 per kwH, respectively. The remaining 260 MW (out of 500 MW on offer) of projects were won by NYSE-listed Azure Power, one of the largest solar developers in the country, which also bid Rs 2.67 per kwH.
There were 14 bidders in all in the auction. Among those who lost out were heavyweights such as Tata Power, ReNew Power, Finland-headquartered Fortum Solar, Lightsource Renewable Energy of the UK and Canadian Solar Energy.
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