(Source:ANI) Setting a new trend in the Solar Energy sector again, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has tendered a750 MW of solar park in the state of Rajasthan, at a low benchmark price of Rs.3.93/kWh compared to the previous benchmark price of Rs.4.43/kWh.
Solar capacity of 500 MW will be developed in Bhadla Phase-III Solar Park and 250 MW in Bhadla Phase-IV Solar Park under the National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase II, Batch IV.
According to sources, under the Viability Gap Funding program SECI has tendered 4,525 MW of solar PV out of which power purchase agreements (PPAs) have been signed for 2,528 MW to date.
“Rajasthan is a trendsetter in India’s solar sector. Previously, the lowest tariff was Rs.4.34/kWh in the state,” said an official at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The official also added that looking at the current competitive environment in the sector, it is expected that the tariffs in all states will go down. However, this is not a direct comparison as the developers will be bidding for the lowest VGF amount in addition to the Rs.3.93/kWh tariff.
The developers will be bidding for additional viability gap funding (VGF) in addition to the tariff and can also use other available incentives like accelerated depreciation (AD), concessional customs and excise duties. However, developers cannot claim VGF and AD simultaneously.
The auction winners will be based on the lowest bid price using VGF. Once developed, the Bhadla Solar Park will have an aggregate capacity of 2,255 MW.
“The new tariff will be a relief for distribution companies (DISCOMs) in the state as they will have cheaper power available. The state has previously witnessed curtailment of solar and the new low tariff will give a boost to both the developers and DISCOMs,” Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker said quoting a source at SECI.
Solar power tariffs have been revised for 5,000 MW of VGF projects under National Solar Mission (NSM) Batch-IV, Phase-II. Source at the MNRE confirmed that the Ministry has started implementing the tariff revision starting with the current batch of projects.
States such as Rajasthan, where the tariff has previously been below Rs.4.50/kWh will have a revised tariff of Rs.4/kWh (SECI takes a trading margin of Rs.0.07 and states where the tariff was above Rs.4.50/kWh will have a revised tariff of Rs.4.50/kWh.