ACME wins 160 MW in Andhra Pradesh tender

Indian solar company ACME Group has emerged as the largest successful bidder in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh’s 500 MW tender.

The company won 160 MW of solar PV projects as part of the request for proposals issued by Southern Power Distribution Company Limited of Andhra Pradesh (APSPDCL), which attracted 51 bidders and proposals totaling 1,291 MW. ACME said the project would entail an estimated investment of $210 million.

According to the terms of the bidding program, selected developers will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with AP Discom at a set tariff.

"This win is the country’s largest win by any private solar developer," said ACME Chairman Manoj Kumar Upadhyay. "It is a testimony to the prowess of ACME Group and further strengthens our emergence as the leading solar power producer in the country."

Upadhyay added that ACME’s solar power portfolio had reached 422.5 MW following the additional projects and said the company was now on its way to generate 1 GW by 2017.

ACME will develop the 160 MW of projects in the three Andhra Pradesh districts of Anantpur, Karnool and Chittoor.

The company earlier this month received final approval for a $100 million credit facility from the Asian Development Bank. ACME said it would use $50 million to develop 100 MW of projects in the state of Rajasthan and the remaining amount of loan for its upcoming projects.

In addition, the company last month secured an A Loan of up to $34 million from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the 100 MW project in Rajasthan under the ambit of the country’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Earlier, the IFC also provided $11.9 million in funding for a 25 MW solar power project the company is developing in Madhya Pradesh.

ACME had an existing portfolio of 262.5 MW, including 100 MW of JNNSM Phase II projects in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The company said it aims to generate 1,000 MW by 2017.

By state, ACME’s portfolio consists of 100 MW in Rajasthan, 25 MW in Madhya Pradesh, 25 MW in Odisha, 30 MW in Chhattisgarh, 15 MW in Gujarat, 10 MW in Assam, 25 MW in Bihar, 30 MW in Uttar Pradesh and a 2.5 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Rajasthan. Out of these, the 25 MW plant in Madhya Pradesh, 15 MW plant in Gujarat and 2.5 MW CSP in Rajasthan are fully operational, putting its operational capacity at 42.5 MW. While other projects are at various stages of commissioning, the 100 MW Rajasthan projects are expected to be commissioned by April 2015.

Other high-profile bidders in the Andhra Pradesh tender, which received proposals totaling 1.291 GW, included Welspun with 245 MW, SunEdison with 90 MW and First Solar with 80 MW.