Clean energy bids with high tariffs will be cancelled: RK Singh
NEW DELHI: The government will cancel clean energy auctions if the tariffs discovered through competitive bidding are found unreasonable, minister for power and renewable energy RK Singh said, signalling a tough stand against any apparent malpractice in bidding.
Responding to questions on a recent cancellation of bids received for 2,400-MW solar projects, Singh said his ministry is keeping a watch on global trends that influence clean energy tariffs and hence the ministry in its right can exercise its discretion to define the maximum permissible tariffs for solar bids.
“I am here to protect the people’s interest. We will accept bids which are reasonable. If I come across any bids which are excessive, we will cancel it,” Singh said on Tuesday.
Recently, the power minister wrote to the finance ministry alleging a cartelisation attempt by SoftBank-backed SB Energy to jack up tariffs in a 3,000-MW solar tender floated by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which stood partly cancelled after the price bids were submitted by developers. SoftBank firmly denied the allegation and said it always abides by the law and acts ethically. Officials, however, said bids were rejected only because of high prices. “There is no allegation of any kind.
“We found certain bids to be unacceptable and we did not accept the bids, (on the ground that) the price was high,” Anand Kumar, secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said while addressing a press conference ahead of its flagship renewable energy event RE-Invest and the first general assembly of International Solar Alliance next week.
The government and the private sector have recently been at odds following the former’s decision to cap solar tariffs at Rs 2.5 per unit for solar auctions conducted by SECI, with a margin of 18 paise if safeguard duty is being factored in.