India to Hold Bidding for 750 Megawatts of Solar Projects

(Bloomberg) — Indian companies will be bidding on 750
megawatts of solar projects this week as part of a government-funded support program in the western states of Maharashtra and
Gujarat.

“Tenders for setting up 500 megawatts of capacity in
Maharashtra and 250 megawatts in Gujarat’s Charanka solar park
will be out this week and awarded in three months,” Ashvini
Kumar, managing director at Solar Energy Corp. of India, the
implementing agency for central government’s grid-connected
solar programs, said Tuesday in an interview.

The bids are part of the second phase of the National Solar
Mission through which capacity of at least 2 gigawatts will be
auctioned featuring 21 billion rupees ($322 million) of
government-funded support.

Of the remaining capacity, tenders for 500 megawatts each
will be offered in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil
Nadu in a month and later in Uttar Pradesh in the north, Kumar
said.

Initially the program fixed tariffs at 5.43 rupees a
kilowatt-hour and proposed to shortlist the bidders requiring
the least funding assistance from the government.

Now the government will conduct a two-stage bidding process
as companies are expected to quote zero funding support after
solar tariffs hit new lows in the auctions conducted in Madhya
Pradesh and Telangana the past month.

“Those companies that quote zero funding support will have
to then participate in tariff-based bidding,” Tarun Kapoor,
joint secretary at the ministry of new and renewable energy told
Bloomberg. This will enable auctioning of more than 2 gigawatts
of solar capacity for the same amount of funding support, he
said.

India aims to install 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022
under the National Solar Mission at an estimated investment of
$100 billion. Current solar capacity in the country is just over
4 gigawatt.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Anindya Upadhyay in New Delhi at
aupadhyay22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Randall Hackley, Nicholas Larkin

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