1000 MW of projects across country auctioned at 3.46 per unit of energy
New Delhi: India’s ambitious green energy programme took a giant leap as the country’s first wind energy auction has seen tariff dropping dramatically to .₹ 3.46 per unit, mirroring the steep fall in solar power sector and giving coal-fired plants another emission-free and competitive rival to worry about.
Solar tariffs have already fallen to .₹ 2.97 per unit after a series of auctions in recent years in which companies quoting the lowest tariff were awarded projects.
“These are exciting times, cleaner times. Our intention is to provide affordable 24x7 power, protect the environment & leave behind a brighter and cleaner future for the next generation,” Piyush Goyal, the minister for power, coal, renewable energy & mines, told ET.
The auction, conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India, invited bids for 1,000 mW of wind projects that could be set up anywhere in the country. The winners are Mytrah Energy (India) Pvt Ltd, Green Infra Wind Energy Ltd, Inox Wind Infrastructure Services Ltd and Ostro Kutch Wind Pvt Ltd. All quoted identical tariff of .₹ 3.46 per kwH & have been awarded 250 MW each. Adani Green Energy (MP) also quoted the same tariff. An additional project of 250 MW capacity is likely to be awarded to it, even though the original auction was for only 1000 MW. There were ten bidders in all.
So far, wind tariffs were set by regulators of the nine states producing wind power, unlike solar projects which for some years have been auctioned and awarded to companies quoting the lowest tariff.
Wind energy tariffs have varied from a high of .₹ 6.04 per unit in parts of Rajasthan to .₹ 4.08 for some projects in Maharashtra.
Most tariffs have varied from .₹ 4 to .₹ 5 a unit. Other states where wind energy is generated are Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
The idea of holding wind power auctions had been mooted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) nearly a year ago, though three earlier attempts to hold them — once by Karnataka and twice by Rajasthan — had proved unsuccessful, with various legal issues raised by wind power associations holding them up.
In Oct 2016, however, the government issued a formal notice to auction 1000 MW of wind power projects. The last dates for submission of bids and their opening were twice deferred, until they were finally opened on Thursday.