Hero Future Energies and Renew Power emerged big winners in a mega tender for 1,200 MW of solar power capacity floated by the Karnataka government, with both bagging 180 MW each of projects. “This win will establish Hero Future Energies as one of the major players in the solar segment with a pipeline of around 400MW of projects under various stages of execution,” said Sunil Jain, its CEO and executive director. The Hero Group firm made the lowest winning price bid in the entire auction at Rs 4.69 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the talukas of Gangavati, Chikkanayakanhalli, Koratagere and Madhugiri. The highest winning bid in the open bidding was Rs 5.81 per kWh for Nagamangala taluka. All the winning bids were substantially lower than the benchmark tariff of Rs 6.51 per kWh the Karnataka government had set.The lowest winning tariff is a shade below that which won the last solar auction held in Uttar Pradesh (Rs 4.78 per kwH) in February but higher than the prices touched in Maharashtra (Rs 4.43 per kwH) and Rajasthan (Rs 4.34 per kwH) auctions in January.One reason for this is the varying conditions in different states. For example, the sun’s radiation is much stronger in Rajasthan and Maharashtra than in Karnataka. Besides, Rajasthan had offered assured land in a solar park while in Karnataka developers will have to identify and acquire land on their own.