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.
“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.