India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has retendered 250 MW of solar capacity at the Pavagada Solar Park in the state of Karnataka following widespread concerns about the local infrastructure that served to deter developers after the initial tender round in February last year.
According to Mercom Capital Group, officials at NTPC had been made aware that infrastructural issues at the park last year were leading to a reluctance among developers to participate. However, the NTPC has confirmed that the infrastructure is now complete, and bids are once again being invited for 250 MW of solar capacity under the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) category.
Last week, NTPC had retendered 750 MW of capacity at the same solar park, albeit that time under the open category.
Being DCR means that this latest tranche is likely to be more popular with domestic developers, which are being asked by NTPC to develop five 50 MW blocks of solar capacity on a turnkey basis. The winning developers must also provide plant O&M and all replacement equipment for a period of five years from the commissioning of the plant.
Mercom Capital also speculated that the new benchmark tariff in the state of Karnataka of INR 4.51/kWh ($0.066/kWh) could also have acted as a deterrent for some would.be developers. This benchmark tariff – starting April 1 – was proposed earlier this year by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), and is some 31% below the previous benchmark tariff in the state of INR 6.51/kWh ($0.097/kWh).