The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has decided to continue with the solar panel manufacturing-linked power project tender despite only one bid.
It had invited tender for setting up 3Gw of solar panel manufacturing, along with 10 Gw of power plant. There will be no further extension or cancellation of the tender.
The bid was submitted by NYSE-listed Azure Power on Monday to set up 600 Mw of manufacturing as well as 2,000 Mw of power project.
Speaking to Business Standard, Anand Kumar, secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and chairman, SECI, said the bid would be opened and evaluated. “The tender follows bucket-fill method. So, so even if there is one bid, we will evaluate it against the capped tariff of Rs 2.85 per unit,” he said.
The bidding happened after being extended for six times, owing to lack of bidders. Major players shied away from the bidding citing lack of funding push from the Centre, thereby reducing viability of solar manufacturing in India. “Governments across the globe, including China, support solar manufacturing through subsidy. In India, there is volume uncertainty, coupled with high interest and capital cost,” said a sector executive.
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In May 2018, a tender for setting up a solar manufacturing plant — for an aggregate manufacturing capacity of 5Gw linked with solar PV projects of 10 Gw-generation capacity on “build-own-operate” basis. Later, the specs were lowered to 3Gw of manufacturing capacity.
Earlier, the industry had expressed reservations over the tender. While the ministry had drafted a scheme to provide capital subsidy of up to 25 per cent to solar panel makers, the finance ministry has so far not approved it.