Tenders invited by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) for 500 megawatt (Mw) of solar power projects have received bids in the range of Rs 2.65-3.36 a unit - a minor correction from the last lowest bid of Rs 2.44 a unit discovered in Rajasthan. Sector experts attributed the rise in tariffs to the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) regime and the increase in cost of solar panels coming in from China. Chennai-based GRT Jewellers quoted the lowest tariff of Rs 2.65 a unit for 90 Mw of project capacity, followed by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation and Gujarat Industries Power which quoted Rs 2.66 and Rs 2.67 a unit, respectively, for 75 Mw each. NYSE-listed Azure Power won the tender for 350 Mw by quoting Rs 2.67 a unit. Other bidders included ReNew Power, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited, UK-based Lightsource Renewable Energy India Assets, Fortum Power, and Torrent Power. “The 5 per cent GST on solar effectively increases the cost by 10-20 paise. At the same time, the price of panels in China is seeing an upswing now. It is close to 34 cents a unit, compared with 28-30 cents about six months ago, when super low tariffs were discovered in India,” said a Delhi-based sector expert. The free fall in solar tariffs in India has been attributed mostly to the low cost of Chinese panels flooding the market.Solar tariffs in India have fallen 80 per cent in six years. In the past one year only, the tariffs went from sub-Rs 5 to below Rs 3 a unit. Even the rate discovered in Gujarat is lower than coal-based power and spot power market rates.
Solar tariff sees minor correction; rises to Rs 2.65 a unit in Gujarat bids
GST & increasing panel import prices impact tariffs
Shreya Jai |