2,400-MW solar bids of ReNew Power and SoftBank arm ‘were cancelled for being pricey’
Will accept reasonable bids, says Power Minister RK Singh
NEW DELHI: SoftBank-backed SB Energy’s bid to develop 1,100 MW of solar energy projects was cancelled for being too pricey, according to top representatives of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and Renewable Energy RK Singh said, “We will accept bids which are reasonable. If we come across bids which we consider to be excessive, we will cancel them… I am here to protect the people’s interest. If I come across any bids which are excessive, we will cancel it.”
In response to a query on the charges of cartelisation levelled against SB Energy, Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNR E, said: “There is no allegation of any kind. We found certain bids to be unacceptable and we cancelled them.”
Asked for the reason for cancellation, Kumar said, “The price was high.” Singh and Kumar were speaking at an event to mark the first Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA), the 2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (REINVEST- 2018).
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) had called for developing 3,000 MW earlier this year. But the winning bids for 2,400 MW of the 3,000 MW were cancelled. This ended up being the first case of partial cancellation of a tender for developing solar power projects. Only Acme Solar, which won a bid for 600 MW by quoting the lowest tariff of ₹2.44 a unit, was awarded a project.
The rejected bids included SB Energy’s for developing 1,100 MW and ReNew Power’s for 500 MW. Both had quoted ₹ 2.71 a unit. Azure Power won the bid for developing 300 MW at ₹ 2.64 per unit.
Finally a REINVEST
After a hiatus of over three years, the Renewable Energy Ministry is holding REINVEST. At the first REINVEST in February 2015, participants had committed to developing 2.70 lakh MW of renewable energy projects.
Commenting on the progress, Minister Singh said, “We have over the past four years established capacity of about 37,000 MW and that is an investment of about $1 billion per 1,000 MW.”
On the financing front, banks and financing institutions had committed to lend for 78,752 MW projects, of which funds to develop 68,604 MW had been disbursed, according to an MNRE official.
Of the financing commitment of ₹3.95 lakh crore, ₹1.79 lakh crore, or around 45 per cent of the requirement, had been sanctioned, the official added.