BENGALURU: The Solar Energy Corporation of India’s revised wind tender following cancellation of the earlier one has attracted a marginally better response as transmission issues continue to worry developers.
The original tender for 2,000 MW attracted bids of 1,200 MW— 300 MW each from four developers. This led to SECI cancelling the tender.
SECI, a government company mandated to implement the nation’s renewable energy agenda, then scaled down the tender to 1,200 MW, which has drawn bids of 2,290 MW, sources said.
However, at 1.9 times the offer, the response in the latest SECI auction compares poorly with previous auctions, which attracted bids for three to four times the offer made in the tenders. While the technical bids had to be submitted by Wednesday, the actual reverse auction will take place shortly.
Developers are worried that transmission facilities won’t be adequate for the wind and solar projects that have been auctioned. About 7,000 MW of wind projects have been auctioned since they began early last year.
Transmission facilities at the best wind energy producing sites — located chiefly in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat — are close to being fully used up.
Only eight states in India have wind speeds high enough to produce wind energy.
“More substations and transmission lines need to be built urgently for evacuation. Unless these issues get resolved, we won’t be participating in future wind bids connecting to the inter-state transmission system (ISTS),” said a developer.
“The more the projects that are bid out, the more the need for ISTS connectivity, and the more will be the challenges,” said another developer.
Similarly, transmission constraints may pose problems for another 12,000 MW of solar projects likely to be commissioned this financial year. Tariffs are expected to remain at the same level in the forthcoming SECI auction.
At NTPC’s auction for 1,200 MW of wind power projects in mid-August, the winning tariffs of Rs 2.77-2.83 per unit were about 20 paise higher than in earlier bidding. NTPC too had scaled down the tender from 2,500 MW due to the lukewarm response of developers.
“The other reason tariffs are unlikely to fall is that debt rates are firming up heavily. Developers have already lowered prices to the extent they could, at times making unwarranted assumptions,” the second developer said.
Wind tariffs had dropped to a record low of Rs 2.43 per unit in an auction conducted by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. in December 2017.