Solar auction: Companies seeking lowest state support win

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With solar power developers unable to bid below the reserve price of Rs 4.43 per unit at the latest auction, contracts were awarded on the basis of the amount of state support they asked for.  Companies that sought the lowest viability gap funding – state support on capital costs – won projects in the auction by the Solar Energy Corporation of India in Andhra Pradesh. FRV Solar Holdings XI, a newcomer to India, put in a winning bid for 100 MW seeking funding of Rs 44.5 lakh per MW installed, the lowest subsidy amount, SECI said.  FRV, originally a Spanish company, was acquired by the Saudi Arabia-headquartered Abdul Latif Jameel Group in April 2015. Its US business had been sold off earlier to SunEdison. FRV has 532 MW of renewable energy projects commissioned so far in five continents.  Acme Solar Holdings won its bid to set up 150 MW seeking funding of Rs 55 lakh per MW, Tata PowerBSE 0.92 % Renewable Energy got 100 MW asking for Rs 74 lakh per MW and Azure Power won 50 MW with a funding requirement of Rs 74.5 lakh per MW.  Viability gap funding is provided in instalments over five years. All the developers offered tariffs of Rs 4.43 per unit. SECI had originally floated a tender for 500 MW at the Anantapur Solar Park in January, with 100 MW to be built with equipment sourced from local manufacturers only. However, only 400 MW was auctioned and the portion to be set up with domestic equipment was postponed because SECI was not satisfied with the land made available for it, an official said. At the previous open solar auction in Andhra Pradesh in December, the winning bid of Rs 4.63 per unit was made by SB Energy, the joint venture of Softbank, Foxconn and Bharti Airtel. The base price for the current auction was more than 4% lower.  “The tariff was decided by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy,” said Ashvini Kumar, Managing Director of SECI.

Source:  The Economic Times

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