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SECI okays lowest solar auction bid, cancels rest

Only ACME Solar, that won 600 MW, quoting the lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit, managed to stay afloat

Solar Energy Corporation of India, the agency responsible for implementing India’s Solar Mission, cancelled all but the lowest priced project – in its mega solar auction held on July 13. Multiple people familiar with the development told the Economic Times.

The decision to cancel allotment of 2,400 MW solar power capacity out of 3,000 MW auctioned in July was announced at a meeting of developers with government officials and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on Wednesday, according to them.

Only ACME Solar– that won 600 MW, quoting the lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit—managed to not get the axe.

All the other projects were found to be too expensive for the Indian government, according to the developers. A Developer who was present at the meeting stated: “ They said that the difference between the lowest bidder and the second lowest was 20 paise, which was too wide.”

The cancelled projects include : 1100 MW won by SB energy – a joint venture between Japan’s Softbank, Taiwan’s Foxconn and Bharti Airtel , 500 MW won by ReNew Power, both of which had quoted 2.71 per unit ; and 300 MW won each by Mahindra Solar and Mahoba Solar, that quoted 2.64 per unit.

“Apparently, the SECI board decided this,” said a power sector official. “The highest winning bid was 2.71, which was felt to be very high. The developers concerned refused to lower prices any further. This was felt to not be competitive.” he told the Economic Times.

This marks the first time that auction results have only been partially cancelled. Recently, Uttar Pradesh had cancelled a 100 MW auction held in mid-July without any reasons assigned. Gujarat too, had cancelled a 500 MW auction in February.

In both the cases, the reason was the same – officials found the winning tariffs too high.

-GBO Correspondent

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