India set to launch 2.8 GW tender

The head of India‘s state-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India (SECI) this week reportedly announced the imminent arrival of a INR21 billion ($331 million), 2.8 GW solar tender across five states.

A report by the Bloomberg Business website on Monday, referring to an interview given by Ashvini Kumar – MD of the state-run company – in Delhi, revealed the development.

SECI, which is responsible for implementing the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), will this month open the tender for 750 MW of solar capacity in Madhya Pradesh, 700 MW in Gujarat, 500 MW each in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and 370 MW in Uttar Pradesh, with tendering set to be complete by March, according to the online report.

Dollar tendering

The Indian government recently announced plans to attempt to attract more foreign investment by tendering in dollars but solar consultancy Bridge to India told pv magazine that move is missing the point.

Vinay Rustagi, of Bridge to India, said there is appetite among foreign investors, who have little concern about the currency hedging costs associated with tendering in rupees.

Although tendering in dollars will ‘marginally’ reduce hedging costs, said Rustagi, it will mean projects have to call upon 100 per cent foreign investment, which is unlikely.

The real risks for international financiers in India are policy and offtake risk, added Rustagi.