Solar continues to grow at a fast pace in India with a total of 1,050 MW of solar PV auctioned and another 415 MW tendered in the month of September through programs like the Canal Top, State Specific Bundling, Viability Gap Funding (VGF) and Rooftop Solar under the National Solar Mission.Under the Canal Top program, Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) invited bids to install 15 MW of solar on canal tops. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) under its State Specific Bundling program auctioned 100 MW under the DCR category to be installed at the Pavagada solar park in Karnataka and invited bids for another 250 MW of DCR capacity at the same location.
The major portion of the auctions in September was carried out by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The nodal agency auctioned 450 MW under VGF category in Maharashtra and 500 MW of rooftop solar (tentative) to be distributed throughout the country. The SECI also invited bids to develop 150 MW of solar at the Charanka solar park in Gujarat. Tata Power’s winning bid to set up a 50 MW solar project under the DCR category at Pavagada solar park resulted in a record low DCR tariff rate of Rs.4.84 (~$0.0725)/kWh. In the Open category, Vijay Printing Press quoted a tariff of Rs.4.42 (~$0.0663)/kWh without viability gap funding (VGF). In the Rooftop auction, the sector witnessed lowest ever quoted tariff of Rs.3 (~$0.0645)/kWh. Several auctions have been delayed and bid-submission dates extended.