1.2 GW hybrid tender gets only two bidders yet again

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The latest tranche of Solar Energy Corporation of India’s wind-solar hybrid tender for 1.2 GW has prompted response from only two bidders. Adani Green Energy (600 MW) and ReNew Power (300 MW) made techno-commercial bids for a combined capacity of 900 MW, leaving the tender undersubscribed by 300 MW.

The tender had stipulated ceiling tariff of Rs 2.70/kWh and capacity utilization factor of 30%, which were deemed unviable for most of the developers—reported daily newspaper and website Economic Times while sharing the details.

Terming the ceiling tariff of Rs 2.70 as too tight, Vinay Rustagi, managing director of renewable energy consultancy Bridge To India told ET: “In most recent auctions, the winning wind bids were around Rs 2.80 plus per unit and solar bids at Rs 2.55. So Rs 2.70 per unit is a tight tariff because most of the capacity in these hybrid projects will be wind based.”

In wind projects the CUF is usually 35% at the best sites and for solar it is about 21%. The high level of CUF specified in the hybrid tender—at 30%—meant most of the capacity will have to be wind based, Rustagi added.

The last 1.2 GW hybrid renewable energy tender floated by the SECI also attracted only two bidders: While Softbank-backed SB Energy was awarded 450 MW at Rs 2.67/kWh, Adani Green Energy won 390 MW at Rs 2.69/kWh. A total of 360 MW remained unawarded.

Industry watchers are doubting the viability of hybrid projects, because of the paucity of optimal sites for wind-solar hybrids. While sunshine is widely available, areas with wind speeds high enough to generate wind energy are limited. Land is even scarce in solar-aggressive states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, which are already saturated with projects and struggling with grid connectivity access.

Despite this, there are plans to develop 10 GW of wind-solar hybrid projects in the country by 2022.

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