Gujarat’s fresh attempt to auction 700 mw of solar projects at Raghanesda Solar Park has attracted techno-commercial bids of 600 mw despite having an aggressive ceiling price of Rs 2.70 per unit, people close to the development said.
The state’s renewable energy agency Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) had cancelled the first auction for the same projects held in January, because it found the lowest discovered tariff of Rs 2.84 per unit to be too high.
The January auction had attracted bids of 1,250 mw, while the new auction has been under-subscribed by 100 mw.
One solar developer deplored that the auction attracted this much bid. “I’m surprised that bids were got even for 600 mw,” the person said on condition of anonymity. “There are enough developers tripping over themselves to harm one another.”
GUVNL had in March last year also cancelled the results of another auction of 500 mw, for the same reason, when the winning tariff reached was Rs 2.98 per unit.
As a result, solar developers have been wary of Gujarat tenders.
Sources close to the development said GUVNL will proceed with the reverse auction shortly. The discom could not be reached for a comment.
While calling for bids a second time at Raghanesda, GUVNL had reduced the park charges from last time by about Rs 30 lakh per mw in an attempt to bring down the tariff. But it introduced a ceiling tariff of Rs 2.70 per unit while there was none the first time.
“This is a pretty aggressive ceiling tariff for that particular location,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director at renewable energy consultancy Bridge To India. “From a radiation point of view too it is not the best site in Gujarat.”
GUVNL’s recent tender for projects at Dholera solar park had met with much poorer participation. Out of 1000 mw on offer, it got bids only for 50 mw. Industry insiders attributed it to the ceiling tariff of Rs 2.75 per unit.
The agency has already invited bids for the project three times, and it has got postponed again. “Tender after tender bids are being undersubscribed or cancelled — it is a major disappointment,” Rustagi said.