NEW DELHI: Sembcorp Energy India is looking to scale up its capacity in solar business at a time when the Indian solar industry is grappling with the issue of low tariffs.
“We have been present in the wind sector largely,” said Vipul Tuli, managing director of Sembcorp Energy. “But we see some viability in the solar sector now and we plan to participate in the upcoming bids,” he told ET on the sidelines of a renewable energy event on Friday.
At present, the Gurgaon-based company’s solar capacity stands at 35 MW out of its total renewable energy capacity of 1,700 MW.
Sembcorp Energy plans to add 500-600 MW renewable energy capacity every year, and around 30% of this capacity is likely to come from solar, Tuli said.
Talking about falling solar tariffs, he said that as long as module prices remain lower in comparison to the tariffs, IPPs will be able to make margins. “We will maintain a cautious approach, we don’t want to bid aggressively,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Global RE-Invest in Greater Noida, power minister R K Singh announced the commissioning of Sembcorp Energy’s first wind energy project it won under Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) Tranche 1 competitive bidding for wind projects.
The 250 MW project located in Chandragiri, Tamil Nadu was won at a tariff of Rs 3.46 per unit. The project has been built out by wind turbine maker Suzlon, which will also maintain the project for the duration of PPA.
Tuli said that while India’s renewable energy market is the most competitive in the world, tariffs are within the range of expected returns. Solar and wind tariffs in India now hover at sub-Rs 3 levels.