NEW DELHI: Hero Future Energies and ReNew Power emerged big winners in a mega tender for 1,200 MW of solar power capacity floated by the Karnataka government, with both bagging 180 MW each of projects.
“This win will establish Hero Future Energies as one of the major players in the solar segment with a pipeline of around 400MW of projects under various stages of execution,” said Sunil Jain, its CEO and executive director.
The lowest winning tariff is a shade below that which won the last solar auction held in Uttar Pradesh (Rs 4.78 per kwH) in February but higher than the prices touched in Maharashtra (Rs 4.43 per kwH) and Rajasthan (Rs 4.34 per kwH) auctions in January.
Even so, the Karnataka prices are comparable with that of power from new coal.
Hero Future Energies has won bids of 20 MW each across nine talukas, quoting tariffs between Rs 4.69 and Rs 4.86 per kWh. ReNew Power has also 20MW bids in nine other talukas at prices ..
“This is desirable from the point of view of reducing stress on transmission infrastructure but will create many complications in bidding and lead to inconsistent competition as some talukas may be more lucrative than others (differences in radiation, transmission infrastructure and land prices)… However, with restrictions on capacity developed under each taluka, it would be difficult for developers to scale up projects,” he wrote.
Other winners in Karnataka included the Aditya Birla Group (40 MW), Essel Green Energy (65 MW), Marikal Solar Park (60 MW) and SunEdison (20 MW). A dozen talukas, accounting for a total of 240 MW, received no bids at all and will have to be retendered.
The auction also reserved 100 MW for Karnataka-based solar module manufacturers. “This was also highly unusual. No other state or central policy has ever imposed such a condition previously,” wrote Bajaj. The tariffs in this reserved category were higher with the lowest winning bid of Rs 6.47 per kWh coming from Emvee Toughened Glass that won 45 MW