SECI, the nodal agency through which the new and renewable energy ministry (MNRE) conducts wind and solar auctions, has commissioned only 1961 MW of wind capacity, an official at the ministry said on condition of anonymity
BENGALURU: Only about one-third of 6,000 megawatt wind power capacity auctioned by the Solar Energy Corporation of India in four tranches between 2017 and 2018 have been commissioned so far despite their deadlines ending.
SECI, the nodal agency through which the new and renewable energy ministry (MNRE) conducts wind and solar auctions, has commissioned only 1961 MW of wind capacity, an official at the ministry said on condition of anonymity.
“There are three big reasons for the delay,” the official told ET. “Firstly, getting defence clearance for wind projects takes a long time. It takes six months to a year to come by.” Wind projects are often located in sensitive border areas, hence they require the defence ministry’s clearance.
The other two reasons the person cited are the Gujarat government’s initial reluctance to lease land to winners of auctions conducted by the central agency and the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“Had it not been for Covid-19, these projects may have been commissioned by now,” the person said.
SECI has commissioned 1,000 MW out of 1,049 MW in the first auction held in February 2017 while 685 MW out of 1,000MW have been commissioned in tranche 2 held in October 2017, the official said. The scheduled commissioning date for tranche 2 was May 2019.
In the tranche 3 auctioned in February 2018, 277MW out of 2000 MW have been commissioned while not a single megawatt has been commissioned amongst the 2000 MW auctioned in tranche 4 in April 2018.
The scheduled commissioning deadline for tranche 3 projects was November 2019, and March this year for tranche 4.
According to a wind power developer, the winning tariffs in tranche 3 auctions were “too low”.
“The tariff is unviable now,” the developer told ET. “Wind turbine manufacturers are unwilling to execute our project. Lenders are not willing to fund the project.”
The winning tariffs in that auctions were in the range of Rs 2.44-2.45 per unit, only one paisa higher than the record low reached so far.
The MNRE official cited earlier, however, said the government would not renegotiate. “We will not allow modifications in tariff, we feel strongly about that.”
But extensions would be granted on genuine grounds, the official said. “We have given guidelines to SECI as to how the timelines could be extended,” the person said. “I’m hopeful that they will be executed.”
Some of the biggest winners of these auctions were Sembcorp, Renew Power, Inox Wind and Adani Green Energy.