SECI Tenders 750 MW of Solar at the Bhadla Solar Park to Leverage ISTS Waiver

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has tendered a total of 750 MW of solar at the Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan, following the inter-state transmission (ISTS) waiver which was extended last week. The entire power generated will be evacuated to Uttar Pradesh for fulfilling demand.

To replicate the success of the recently concluded Bhadla Phase-III and Phase-IV Solar Park auctions where tariffs reached an all-time low of Rs.2.44 (~$0.037)/kWh, the SECI and the state governments of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh plan to utilize the ample land and sunshine available in Rajasthan to provide cheaper power in Uttar Pradesh.

Mercom’s source at SECI confirmed that the 750 MW of solar capacity tendered yesterday was for supplying power to Uttar Pradesh.

Since the Central Transmission Utility (CTU) will undertake the transmission of power, no transmission charges or fees will be levied for these projects. The waiver period for inter-state transmission (ISTS) charges and losses for solar projects has been extended to December 31, 2019. This waiver applies to solar projects that are commissioned on or before December 31, 2019 and will not be subject to ISTS charges. The waiver will be applicable for a period of 25 years from the date of commissioning. The Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan state agencies were waiting for final waiver of the charges before officially announcing the tender.

After the waiver was announced, an MNRE official had told Mercom, “This is a welcome change for the sector as it will help stabilize solar tariffs in the country. The cost of solar has fallen drastically in the country and the extension of the waiver period will help allay developer fears.”

Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group had commented on the waiver saying, “This is a good step taken by the Ministry of Power. The extension removes uncertainty and will help solar projects get developed in resource-rich areas while spreading solar power consumption across the country, like the proposed 750 MW solar project in Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan by Uttar Pradesh.”

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