The reverse auction for the second tranche of 1,000 MW wind power projects may not take place on September 19 as scheduled earlier, sources in the renewable ministry said. The much-awaited bidding was initially scheduled to be conducted in mid-August. Officials are awaiting clarification from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) regarding the procedure of transmission connectivity allocation to the lowest bidders.
The CERC ruling is expected to have a bearing on the aggression to be shown by the developers participating in the auction, for which bids of more than 2,800 MW have already received. The government’s first wind auction held in February discovered record-low tariff of Rs 3.46 per unit, which is 17-30% lesser than the feed in tariff prices in windy states.
Clarity is lacking on transmission access related to wind projects where multiple developers have queued up for transmission connectivity for power evacuation. As reported earlier by FE, the Solar Energy Corporation of India, which is conducting the bids, is learnt to have given verbal assurance to the prospective bidders that the reverse auction would be conducted only after the CERC order comes out.
Former renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal had said he wanted wind energy bids to be brought out every month, provided that this would not not allow the industry jack up (bidding) rates in the wake of higher auction frequencies.
In order to achieve the target of 60,000 MW of wind energy by 2022, the country needs to add more than 6,000 MW of wind generation capacity on average, hence warranting a subsequent increase in the scale of auctions.