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Four-S Monthly Cleantech Track Edition 1, 2012
Four-S Services, January 2012, Pages: 9
Batch 2 of Phase 1 of NSM auction drives tariffs to record lows
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has awarded PV project contracts worth 350MW to 28 developers in its latest National Solar Mission (NSM) auction. Projects in batch II of phase II were allotted by a reverse bidding process and have an initial completion deadline of March 2013.
The winning bids for solar PV under batch II of JNNSM phase I varied from Rs 7.49/kWh to Rs 9.41/kWh, at an average bid price of Rs 8.7/kWh. It is to be noted that in batch I, the range varied from Rs 10.95/kWh to Rs 12.76/kWh with an average bid price of Rs 12.15/kWh. French project developer Solaire Direct was the lowest bidder with Rs 7.49/kWh.
With increase in size per project from 5MW to 20 MW, higher allocation possibilities per company for up to 50MW and the significant drop in module prices, this round of bidding witnessed participation from larger companies with aggressive pricing.
The maximum capacity of systems in this latest auction was 20MW, although developers were permitted to bid for an additional two projects and a further 30MW of capacity. Welspun Solar was the only solo bidder to take up this option, securing one 20MW (with a tariff bid of Rs 7.97) and two 15MW projects (tariffs of Rs 8.05 and Rs 8.14).
Other successful developers were Azure Power, Sunborne, Green Infra Solar Farms and the joint venture of Mahindra Solar One and Kiran Energy. Together the latter two captured over 50MW of capacity - a 20MW and 15MW project were won under Mahindra's name while another 20MW system was awarded to Kiran.
This dramatic drop in bidding price mirrors the international trend of falling PV equipment prices, which, according to consulting firm Bridge to India, has enabled developers to consider capital costs as low as Rs 90 million for every MW installed. Additionally, developers appear to be leveraging on deferred payment schemes offered by module manufacturers and low interest rates possible on the strength of their balance sheets.
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