BENGALURU: The Maharashtra government appeared to be fifth time lucky with its solar auction of 1000 MW held on Monday. While earlier auctions called by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) for the same 1000MW, starting from December last year, were repeatedly undersubscribed and thereafter re-tendered, this time it received bids from eight developers amounting to a total of 1450 MW.
The bids too matched those of the 750 MW auction held last week by NTPC. The tariffs were all in the range of Rs 2.71-2.72 per unit, while those at the NTPC auction had been Rs 2.72-2.73. Tariffs discovered in state auctions are usually higher than at those held by NTPC, since the latter’s sound financials – compared to those of most state utilities – call for lower financial risk.
Among the winners, the lowest bidders were Adani Green Energy’s special purpose vehicle Mahoba Solar (UP) Pvt Ltd which got 200 MW at Rs 2.71 per unit and French developer Technique Solar which won 20 MW at the same price. The other winners, all of whom bid Rs 2.72 per unit, were ReNew Solar Power which got 250 MW, Acme Solar Holdings which also got 250 MW, Tata Power Renewable Energy which won 150 MW and Azure Power India, which got the remaining 80 MW.
The response to the Maharashtra auction suggests sentiment in the solar sector is looking up again, even though the twin fears of anti dumping duty and safeguard duty being imposed on imported solar equipment, remain. The Director General of Anti Dumping is examining the matter, while the Director General, Safeguards, has already recommended 70% safeguard duty, which however has yet to be implemented. More than 90% of solar panels used in Indian projects is imported. It was the fear of this levy that had temporarily led to tepid response at solar auctions.