The Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) latest tender for solar plants in Uttar Pradesh, setting a base tariff of Rs 4.43 per kWh, has drawn bidders even as many in the trade have deemed the price too aggressive. RattanIndia Solar 2 Ltd (a subsidiary of the RattanIndia Group) won 50 MW at the Allahahad solar park, while the France-based SolaireDirect won 75 MW at the Mirzapur park, both accepting the tariff of Rs 4.43 per kwH. Both will be eligible for viability gap funding (VGF) – Rs 75 lakh per MW at the Allahabad park and Rs 74.3 lakh per MW at the Mirzapur park. With solar prices rapidly falling across different auctions in the last few months, SECI lowered its base price from Rs 5.45 per kwH to Rs 4.43 per kwH two months ago. While it has floated one successful tender at this price in Maharashtra, many felt that in eastern UP, with its lower radiation, such a price may not be viable. “In our view, it is insufficient to compensate for the lower output and poor operating environment in the state,” saidVinay Rustagi, Managing Director of solar consultancy, Bridge to India. Participation in the tender was relatively limited, with just three bidders. The lowest solar tariff so far has been Rs 4.34 per kwH, quoted by Fortum Finnsurya at an NTPC auction in January for a 70 MW plant in Bhadla solar park of Rajasthan. Bhadla, however, has the highest radiation in the country.