Thursday, September 29, 2022

SECI postpones 1,200 MW solar tender for a third time

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New Delhi: The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has postponed a 1,200 MW solar tender for the third time after it failed to elicit interest from developers. Inspite of the fact that changes were made to the tender, participation was abysmal. After the third postponement, SECI has also increased the ceiling tariff from Rs 2.65 per unit to Rs 2.68, a senior ministry official said.

Industry says ceiling tariff not attractive

Experts have, however, said that even after the latest reduction, it is unlikely that the tender will attract bidders. Vinay Rustagi, managing director at renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India, said, “The ceiling tariff in the current market is not attractive.” “The industry is clearly sending a message to the ministry that setting ceiling tariffs are not acceptable to us,” said a developer.
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The auction has now been deferred to September 16. Substations for transmitting the power have been identified in Madhya Pradesh. But projects can be built anywhere in the country.

There’s a long chain of tepid responses

Tepid response from the industry has been a pattern of late. Two auctions conducted by the SECI earlier this month got just two responses each. The number of bidders in the renewable energy market has also dropped from more than 200 in 2015 to only 31 in 2019, said Bridge to India in its report.

“There are many reasons for falling investor interest—increasing cost and risks associated with land acquisition plus transmission, tightening liquidity in the financial markets, and aggressive ceiling tariffs,” the report had said.

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