SECI hikes tariff ceiling to lure bidders

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The ceiling tariff of the 1,200MW wind-solar hybrid project has been hiked from Rs 2.60 ($0.036) per unit to Rs 2.70 ($0.037), while the new rate for the 10 GW auction stands at Rs 2.85 ($0.039) – a nominal increase from the earlier maximum tariff of Rs 2.75 ($0.038) per unit.

The government has now invited fresh bids for hybrid projects, which require solar and wind power generating facilities to be set up at the same site, and manufacturing-linked solar projects.

“Bids for wind-solar hybrid projects has been extended till February-March 2019. The ceiling price has been increased to Rs 2.70 a unit. Because we are increasing the ceiling price, we are extending the bid date,” RK Singh, Minister for New & Renewable Energy said while inaugurating the second edition of International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2018).

SECI’s move is seen as a last-ditch effort to lure bidders who have stayed away from the agency’s tenders.

In May this year, SECI announced its first large-scale hybrid tender with a ceiling tariff at Rs 2.60 per unit. However, the response was so poor that the auction has been postponed six times and the auction size cut to half from 2,500MW to 1,200 MW.

Similarly, SECI’s first manufacturing-linked solar 10 GW tender received tepid response and has so far been postponed four times. To boost domestic manufacturing, the nodal agency had initially mandated 5 GW of manufacturing capacity, which was later reduced to 3 GW. The new deadline for techno-commercial bids is November 19, 2018.

India has 72 GW of installed renewable energy capacity, while 20 GW is under various stages of implementation and 27 GW is being tendered.