India: TANGEDCO receives technical bids of 3.7 GW for 1.5 GW solar tender

Announced mid-May, a 1.5 GW solar tender by the Indian utility Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) has attracted technical bids of a staggering 3.7 GW, in what appears to be the corporation’s most successful tender to date.

TANGEDCO’s tarnished reputation for late payments and curtailment had previously deterred developers from taking part in its auctions. Namely, in its previous consecutive solar tenders of 500 MW, TANGEDCO received bids to develop a mere 177 MW in February and only 300 MW in November last year. However, the freefall of costs is shifting India’s solar landscape.

“The maximum allowable project capacity of 500 MW for a single bidder and the recent record low prices at Bhadla have changed the dynamics of the sector. There is a race to develop projects and this proved beneficial for TANGEDCO,” a TANGEDCO official told Mercom Capital Group.

With the upper tariff limit set at INR 4 ($0.062)/kWh, the price bids are expected to open on June 30, 2017, and the 24-month deadline for completion of projects, as one of the longest ever seen in India, is likely to pave the way for some really low bids.

The latest competitive tender in the state of Tamil Nadu serves as yet another confirmation of the unstoppable growth of India’s solar market in 2017, which is forecast to add around 10 GW new solar PV capacity this year alone.