Solar power tariffs touch all time low: Goyal

Solar power tariff has touched an all-time low of Rs 4.63 per unit following aggressive bidding by US-based SunEdison, the world’s biggest developer of renewable-energy power plants.

SunEdison won a bid to sell solar power from a 500 megawatt plant in Andhra Pradesh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission at the rate of Rs 4.63 per kilowatt-hour (KWh or unit).

“Delighted that an all time low solar tariff of Rs 4.63 (a kWhr) has been achieved during reverse e-auction conducted by NTPC,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

SunEdison offered tariff lower than SoftBank Group Corp of Japan and Chinese solar products maker Trina Solar Ltd in the auction, industry sources said.

Softbank bid competitively at Rs 4.80 per unit while another firm bid for a 50 MW project at Rs 4.79 per KWh.

Of the 28 companies that qualified for the second round of bidding, nine including Italy’s Enel Green Power SpA, Reliance Power Ltd, ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd, Solar Arise, Acme Solar and Orange Renewable Power offered bids under Rs 5 per unit.

Other bidders included Welspun Renewables, Trina Solar and First Solar.

The previous lowest solar tariff was about Rs 5.05 per unit offered by Candian company SkyPower’s for a 150 MW project in Madhya Pradesh.

Solar power tariff were at a peak of Rs 18 per unit in 2012 and have since than been falling. The present solar tariff compares to Rs 1.5-5 per unit generating cost of electricity from domestic and imported coal.

“We have got one of the lowest tariff in the world for solar power. The tariff of Rs 4.63 per unit has been bid for power purchase agreement (PPA) of 25 years by SunEdison,” Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor said.

“Ten project of 50 MW each totalling 500 MW will come up in Andhra Pradesh,” Kapoor said.

Another company had also quoted Rs 4.63 but but the bid from SunEdison came earlier, he said.

The bidding had taken place on Tuesday.

Government is targetting a five-fold jump in solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2020.

In another tweet said Goyal said “delighted that solar tariff in India have broken Rs 5/kWh level. NTPC has received bids of Rs 4.8/ kWh through ongoing reverse e-bidding.”

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2022 4:44:23 pm |