Low radiation pushes up tariffs in Jharkhand solar project auction
A mega solar tender for 1200 MW, with plants spread over 45 different areas in Jharkhand, saw winning tariffs in a range of Rs 5.08 to Rs 7.95 per kwH, which is higher than some recent projects because of lower quality of solar radiation in the state compared with Rajasthan and cost of land. The biggest winner of the auction conducted by the Jharkhand government was ReNew Solar Power, which was awarded rights to set up 522 MW of projects. Other major winners were Suzlon Energy(175 MW), SunEdison Solar Power (150 MW), OPG Power Generation (124 MW), ACME Solar Holding (75 MW) and Adani Green Power (50 MW). The projects are awarded via auction where the bidder offering to sell power at the lowest price wins. The tariff range in the Jharkhand auction was considerably higher than those in several recent auctions in other states which were well below Rs 5 per kwh. Fortum Finnsurya’s offer of Rs 4.34 per kwH for a 70 MW plant in Rajasthan in January this year has so far been the lowest. The spike is attributed to a number of factors, foremost among them being Jharkhand’s relatively low solar radiation, which pushes up the cost of producing power. In contrast, Fortum’s record-setting low bid was for a plant in Rajasthan’s Bhadla Solar Park, where radiation is the highest in the country.