India’s NTPC awaits solar tender changes, commissions 50MW in Andhra Pradesh
India’s largest utility NTPC is expected to change its tender strategy for its next 5GW of solar, according to consultancy firm Bridge to India.
The next 5GW were reported in July, but without any indication of the new mechanism, except the expectation that NTPC would do away with bundling solar with thermal power stations, because there is now limited capacity left of the older thermal plants.
NTPC has been responsible for a significant amount of capacity tendered out in India’s National Solar Mission (NSM) so far, leading to some of the lowest solar tariffs ever seen in India.
However it is now awaiting guidelines from the central government over its next 5GW to be tendered out with the major utility as the off-taker. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is finalising these guidelines.
Bridge to India’s latest update said a new style of tender is expected with NTPC possibly fixing solar tariffs at INR4.50/kWh (US$0.067) and asking developers to bid for an additional Generation Based Incentive (GBI) per unit.
The consultancy said such a move is preferred to the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) policy currently being used in Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) projects “as it incentivises better performance and encourages quality consciousness”.