Wind auction in Gujarat delayed, solar auction drops to Rs 2.65 a unit
Gujarat’s electricity board is waiting for the state electricity regulator’s approval to begin the reverse auction process for 500 MW of wind power. The state had invited tenders for 500 MW each of wind and solar power in June. While the bidding for 500 MW solar electricity was held on Tuesday, sources told FE that the utility is waiting for guidelines to conduct the wind auctions. The lowest tariff discovered in Tuesday’s solar auction was Rs 2.65 a unit — the cheapest rate yet under any state-owned scheme. Chennai-based GRT Jewellers quoted the lowest tariff of Rs 2.65 per unit, which is 25 paise lower than what it quoted initially. The company already has 26 MW of wind power projects and recently invested in 15 MW of solar projects in Tamil Nadu. GRT was allotted a capacity of 90 MW.
The Gujarat state electricity board and Gujarat Industries Power Company won 75 MW each with both the companies agreeing at a tariff of Rs 2.66 per unit. The remaining 260 MW was won by Azure Power for Rs 2.67 per unit. The deadlines to receive bids for the solar and wind auctions were extended in July after prospective bidders wanted more time to seek clarity on the impact of GST rates. According to research firm Icra, Gujarat is one of the few states over the last two or three years where actual payment cycle by the distribution utilities to renewable power producers is within the prescribed timelines. The state has one of the best solar radiation-receiving areas in the country, experts noted. Gujarat has also extended the last date of bid submission for tenders it invited last month to buy 1,000 MW of coal-based power by more than three weeks. State officials said one of the largest prospective bidders wanted more time to arrange for bank guarantee, set at Rs 21 lakh/MW. Sources said five companies participated in the pre-bid meeting for this power purchase auction under the ‘flexible utilisation of coal’ scheme.