Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)


- Gireesh Chandra Prasad gireesh.p@livemint.com

Solar power tariff discovered through auctions hit a new low on Wednesday with NTPC Ltd’s 250 mega watt (MW) project at Kadapa in south-central Andhra Pradesh getting awarded for a flat ₹3.15 per unit.

The project was awarded to the Indian arm of French clean energy firm Solairedir­ect SA, said an NTPC official, who asked not to be named. Solairedir­ect Energy India Pvt. Ltd already has 182 MW of projects in India including 97 MW in operation and 85MW under constructi­on.

Power, coal, mines and new and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal tweeted on Wednesday that solar tariff achieved another record low at a flat ₹3.15 a unit during the Kadapa auction by NTPC. The previous low was ₹3.3 a unit levelised tariff recorded when the 750 MW project at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh was auctioned by Rewa Ultra Mega Power Ltd in February. Levelised tariff indicates the average fixed and variable tariff over the entire term of the power purchase agreement.

Solar power tariff has been declining on account of sharply declining prices of solar panels, better structurin­g of the project that reduces risk for project developers and better currency hedging deals that make financing available at competitiv­e cost. Also, many pension and sovereign wealth funds looking for not very high, but stable and longterm returns are willing to finance clean energy projects in India. At current rates, solar power generation cost is at par with that of thermal power generation. That is prompting many businesses in the services and manufactur­ing sectors to go for captive solar power generation as they could save on the crosssubsi­dy component that makes power from the grid costlier.

When the first 150 MW of solar power project was tendered under the National Solar Mission (NSM) in 2010, the average tariff quoted was ₹12.16 a unit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India