SECI Looks to Repeat its Success with Another 750 MW Solar Tender at Bhadla Solar Park

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has tendered another 750 MW of solar at Bhadla. The capacity tendered includes, 500 MW of solar at Bhadla Phase-III solar park and 250 MW of solar at Bhadla Phase-IV solar park. This is a global tender; any company or developer can participate regardless of location.

The 500 MW of solar at Bhadla Phase-III solar park has been tendered under NSM Phase-II Batch-IV Tranche-XI. The bid-submission deadline is August 04, 2017. The capacity comprises of five 100 MW projects and the upper tariff ceiling has been fixed at Rs.3.43 (~$0.053)/kWh. A single bidder can also bid for the entire 500 MW. In the 500 MW Bhadla Phase-III Solar Park auction conducted in May, ACME quoted a tariff of Rs.2.44 (~$0.037)/kWh, the lowest winning bid in India to develop 200 MW of solar.

The 250 MW of solar at Bhadla Phase-IV solar park has been tendered under NSM Phase-II Batch-IV Tranche-XII for Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL). The bid-submission deadline is also August 04, 2017. The capacity comprises of five 50 MW projects and the upper tariff ceiling has been fixed at Rs.3.43 (~$0.053)/kWh. A single bidder can bid for the entire 250 MW. The solar tariff in India breached the Rs.3 (~$0.046)/kWh mark for the first time in the 250 MW Bhadla Phase-IV Solar Park auction which was also conducted in May. A winning tariff of Rs.2.62 (~$0.0405)/kWh quoted in the Bhadla Phase-IV auction.

The scope of work for both include, design, supply, engineering, construction, installation, procurement, erection and commissioning of project on build own operate basis. The successful developer can opt for viability gap funding (VGF) for the project and SECI will enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) for a 25-year period. The upper limit of VGF is Rs.10 million (~$0.15 million)/MW.

In both the cases, the developer will be responsible for all clearances, approvals, permits and certificates from local and state government bodies. The developer can utilize benefits of accelerated depreciation, concessional customs and excise duties, and tax holidays, but the SECI has stipulated that no developer will be allowed to claim both VGF and accelerated depreciation benefit.

The project completion timeframe is 12 months from the date of signing of power purchase agreement (PPA). For part commissioning, the developer will have to complete at least 50 percent of the awarded capacity, calculated in blocks of 10 MW each.

The SECI has stated that in either of the two tenders, bidders who do not want to opt for VGF, can submit their bid by offering discounted tariff which will be applicable for 25 years. We expect most bidders to skip the VGF.

In the previous 750 MW tender which was announced in April under NSM Phase-II Batch-IV Tranches-IX and X at the Bhadla Solar Park the tender was oversubscribed by 12 times totaling more than 8,500 MW. Similar interest is expected again considering the pent-up demand for large-scale projects. The auction will also likely see extremely low bids below Rs.3 (~$0.046)/kWh.

Once developed, the Bhadla Solar Park will have an aggregate capacity of 2,255 MW.

 

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