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SB Energy, Acme, ReNew Biggest Winners in SECI Mega Auction of 3,000 MW

30 Jul 2018

Other winners were Azure Power and Mahoba Solar (UP) – the latter a part of the Adani Group – which got 300 MW each at Rs 2.64 and Rs 2.71 per unit respectively, while Rutherford Solar Farms got the remaining 200 MW at Rs 2.70 per unit.
SB Energy, the joint venture of Japan’s SoftBank, Taiwan’s Foxconn and Bharti Airtel, Acme Solar, a leading domestic solar developer, and the Sumant Sinha-led ReNew Power are the three biggest winners of the mega-solar auction of 3000 MW conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on Friday. 
While SB Energy’s special purpose vehicle SBE Renewables won 1100 MW at Rs 2.71 per unit, Acme Solar got 600 MW for Rs 2.44 per unit, while ReNew Solar Power was awarded 500 MW at Rs 2.71 per unit.
Other winners were Azure Power and Mahoba Solar (UP) – the latter a part of the Adani Group – which got 300 MW each at Rs 2.64 and Rs 2.71 per unit respectively, while Rutherford Solar Farms got the remaining 200 MW at Rs 2.70 per unit.
This is the third time the tariff has fallen to the record low of Rs 2.44 per unit, the price quoted by Acme Solar. All the other bids were substantially higher, in the range of Rs 2.64-2.71 per unit. The lowest bid had touched Rs 2.44 per unit in an earlier 2000 MW auction by SECI this month itself. Interestingly, this winning bid was also from Acme Solar, which bagged 600 MW that time too, while the second-lowest bid was markedly higher at Rs 2.52 per unit.
With this auction, SECI has bid out 5,750 MW of solar projects in July alone. It held auctions of 2000 MW and 750 MW earlier this month.
As with the earlier auction of 2000 MW this month, the projects won can be set up anywhere in the country and will be connected to the inter-state transmission system (ISTS). Industry sources said tariffs rose in the second auction of 750 MW – to Rs 2.70-2.71 per unit – because they had to be located at a particular solar park, Kadapa Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh, where charges are relatively high.
Solar tariffs had touched Rs 2.44 per unit for the first time in May 2017 at a SECI auction of 500 MW at the Bhadla Solar Park, Rajasthan, but thereafter had been steadily rising as the cost of solar panels – mostly imported from China – increased. In end-May, however, the Chinese government stopped approving domestic solar projects for fear of excess capacity, leading to a fall in export prices of Chinese solar equipment. This in turn has brought down tariffs in recent Indian solar auctions.
Prior to this particular auction, leading domestic solar developers had protested to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) against SECI’s decision to set the maximum capacity developers could bid for at 1800 MW, up from the usual 750 MW. They had argued that given the cost of setting up solar projects – each megawatt costs Rs 6-6.5 crore – such a high limit gave undue advantage to foreign players who had deeper pockets. SECI, however, remained unmoved. 

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