SAEL Industries, NLC India, and KPI Green Energy have emerged as the winners in Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd’s tender for 800 MW of solar with an additional 800 MW under the greenshoe option. The winning developers will set up solar power projects in Khavda Solar Park on a build-own-operate basis.
SAEL Industries secured 400 MW and NLC India 300 MW at a tariff of INR 2.71 ($0.033)/kWh each. KPI Green Energy won 100 MW at INR 2.70/kWh.
Speaking about the auction results, Vinay Rustagi, managing director of Bridge To India, told pv magazine, “Khavda is a challenging location for solar projects because of a high risk of earthquakes and flooding. Additionally, the solar park charges are much higher than usual. We estimate the additional financial burden of these two aspects at about 15-18% of capital cost.”
The latest tariffs are about 5% lower than the last Khavda park auction in May, said Rustagi, adding the sharp fall in solar module prices in recent weeks as one of the contributing factors.
Rustagi said the profile of the winners is interesting. All three winners have recently announced ambitious plans to scale up their renewable business and have bid aggressively in this tender.
“The project site poses some challenges but the benefits of land availability and evacuation arrangements far outweigh them. The project site is close to the seashore and therefore salinity may impact solar panels and other equipment. Also, the solar structure needs to be designed to withstand high wind speeds (200 km/hour) in the zone. The best part of this project is that all the basic infrastructure, including land on lease for 25 years, is provided by GUVNL against an upfront amount as per the tender document,” a prominent developer told pv magazine.
SAEL, based in Punjab, builds and operates solar and agri waste-to-energy projects. Currently, it has a solar portfolio of around 600 MW and aims to add 400 MW of new PV capacity annually over the next five years.
NLC is a state-owned coal miner that has also installed 1,421 MW of renewable energy capacity, including solar power plants totaling 1,370 MW and wind power plants of 51 MW. It aims to enhance its solar capacity to 5,880 MW and wind projects to 151 MW by 2030.
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