A 270 MW solar tender offered by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has been completed this week, with Essel Green Energy, a subsidiary of the Essel Group, winning the bulk of the available capacity.
Essel Green Energy was awarded a contract for a 240 MW solar project in the eastern state of Odisha after agreeing to the reserve price set by SECI of Rs 4.43 per kWh ($0.067/kWh). The winners were chosen on the basis of the lowest viability gap funding (VGF) sought from the ministry. Essel Green Energy asked for a VGF of Rs 49.5 lakh/MW to secure the project.
The remaining 30 MW of PV capacity went to Jyoti Infrastructure (10 MW won an a VGF offer of Rs 49.15 lakh/MW) and IBC Solar Ventures India (20 MW won an a VGF offer of Rs 49.25 lakh/MW).
Essel Green Energy currently has a solar portfolio of 225 MW spread across 12 projects, half of which have already been completed. The Odisha project is by far the firms largest in its history and adds to its sizable wind power capacity, which is projected to hit 500 MW once identified projects are completed.
For the state of Odisha, SECIs auction was the first major tender of its kind, adding to the 20 MW first auctioned in 2014 under phase one of the National Solar Mission. Odisha is something of late adopter of solar PV power having enjoyed relatively low thermal energy prices for some time.