Solar Power Developer quotes tariff as low as Rs.7.49/Unit

The NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN), the power trading arm of NTPC, w has been nominated by the Government to handle the Phase-I of the Solar Mission. The bidding for projects under the ‘Batch-II’ of the first phase of the National Solar Mission was closed in the first week of Dec,2011. In this round, various solar power developers bid for projects of 350 MW of total capacity.The cost of putting up one MW of solar PV capacity today is about Rs 11 Crore.During the Batch-I, it was announced the same day, which helped the Government steer clear of any allegations of ‘inspired leaks’ and earned it accolades for transparency.

NTPC Vidyut  Vyapar Nigam have been shortlisted nearly 20-22 bidders to establish solar energy based power plants India. The list includes Mahindra Group’s joint venture Mahindra Solar One and Essel Group’s Essel Infraprojects Ltd, GAIL (India) Ltd., France’s Fonroche Energy, Solairedirect Group, KSK Energy Ventures Ltd’s unit V.S. Lignite Power Pvt. Ltd., Sujana Towers Ltd.These projects, with a total capacity of 350 megawatts, will complete the first phase of India’s solar mission.

The ambitious mission targets installation of 20 gigawatts of solar capacity in several phases by 2022 to supplement electricity generated by thermal, hydroelectric and nuclear energy sources.

The months- December 2011 and January 2012- are very crucial. For, NTPC Vidyut will offer the contracts to the companies by the end of this month. While long-term agreements to purchase power from these projects will likely be signed in January.

Last time around, the tariffs quoted were as low as Rs 10.90 a unit, which raised questions on the viability and bankability of the projects. However, the prices of modules – panels that generate electricity when sunlight falls on them – have been falling more steeply than earlier expected.

According to the data available, the lowest bid had come down as low as 7.49 rupees ($0.15) a kilowatt hour. Projects awarded in the two rounds of the first phase need to start producing electricity by March 2013.

It is to be noted that the response to the current round of bidding has been much better than the previous one, when 620 MW of projects were awarded