India’s tariffs sink lower


After intense online bidding among 14 companies that lasted for over 10 hours, South African solar PV developer Phelan Energy Group Limited (PEG) emerged as a winner, having placed a bid of INR 2.62 ($ 0.0406)/kWh.

This is more than 15% lower than the previous record of $ 0.0494/kWh set in April in an NTPC-tendererd auction in Andhra Pradesh by Solairedirect.

PEG, the developer of the largest solar farm in Southern Africa, with a capacity of 175 MW, said in a release that according to energy experts and current market conditions, the price achieved by PEG is lower than the average rate of power generated by the coal-fuelled projects of India’s largest power generation utility, NTPC Ltd, of INR3.20 per unit.

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“The result of this bid has proved that solar power is no longer simply an alternative, but is the de facto cheapest form of power available in a coal power-dominated market such as India,” said Paschal Phelan, Chairman of PEG.  “The coal and nuclear industries will fight to hold the old order with non-moving solar cells able to convert sunshine directly into electricity at half the price with minimal environmental impact.”

The good news about the new record-breaking price comes on the heels of the gloomy statistics showing that despite installing record solar PV capacities in financial year 2016-17, India fell short of reaching its targeted capacity by some 5 GW.

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