After a sharp drop in solar tariff to Rs 2.97 per unit, the wind power rates may also touch a new low and fall below the Rs 4 per unit mark in an ongoing auction for 1,000 MW capacity.
The tariff-based competitive bidding is being conducted by the state-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for wind power capacity totalling 1,000 MW for supply of power to non-windy states.
"Some of the players have quoted tariff of around Rs 4 per unit. The auction is going on and may conclude later. The wind tariff in this round of bidding is likely to fall to all-time low. It could be below Rs 4 per unit," a source said.
Although SECI has not provided any benchmark tariff, the average figure for wind power is around Rs 5.
Later last year, SECI had floated tenders for total wind power capacity of 1,000 MW. The competitive bidding is tariff based and will be awarded to those quoting the lowest price (power tariff).
SECI will tie up long-term power purchase agreements of developers with non-windy states to whom power will be supplied through the central transmission utility.
Under the scheme, the government will not acquire land or equipment as developers will have to do that on their own. They will also run and maintain their plants.
According to the scheme, the project capacity will be determined by SECI for each tender, but will not be less than 25 MW for a single project developer at one site.
SECI is the nodal agency for implementation of this scheme and is working on the e-bidding process followed by e-reverse auction for eligible bidders. It will also develop a suitable mechanism for project monitoring.
It has been stipulated that no separate funding will be provided by the ministry to SECI to implement this scheme. The objective is to facilitate supply of wind power to non-windy states at a price discovered through transparent bidding.
The wind power deployment in the country started in early 1990s. The current wind power installed capacity is nearly 28.08 gw, accounting for around nine per cent of the total installed capacity of 310 gw.
Globally, India is at the fourth position after China, the US and Germany, in terms of wind capacity installation. The Centre has set an ambitious target of 175 gw power from renewable energy resources by 2022 and out of this, 60 gw has to come from wind power.