The Solar Energy Corporation of India is likely to revise downwards its 2,500 MW wind-solar hybrid project tendered in June to 1,200 MW, as evacuation-related challenges continue to affect the sector.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is likely to revise downwards its 2,500 MW wind-solar hybrid project tendered in June to 1,200 MW, as evacuation-related challenges continue to affect the sector. The SECI had earlier deferred the last bidding date from August 8 to September 7.
According to sources, the SECI plans to amend the standard bidding document for the project and has proposed to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to introduce a separate bidding guidelines for hybrid wind-solar power projects. “The SECI has proposed to the MNRE to amend the standard bidding document and introduce a new bidding guideline for the hybrid wind-solar projects. They are also likely to reduce the project capacity to 1,200 MW from 2,500 MW which will be introduced before September 7,” a source said.
The plan to reduce the capacity comes in the wake of cancellation of wind and solar auctions in the last two months as developers faced evacuation-related issues and the difference in tariffs of first and second bidder was too wide. A lot of developers did not have commitment from the central or state transmission utilities to evacuate power from the project site.
An email query sent to SECI managing director JN Swain did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.
Kameswara Rao, partner, GRID at PwC, said the key limitation in this case is not the transmission infrastructure, but that of resource availability in the area where these projects will connect to the grid. “A larger capacity can lead to some of the winning bids hit the ceiling tariff, which may be harder to sell to utilities. The 2.5 GW bid has a maximum lot size of 500 MW, and there is a possibility that one or two of the five winning bids could be in low wind zones, which would result in a higher tariff,” Rao said.
The 2,500 MW wind-solar hybrid tender was invited by the SECI in June with August 8 as the last date for submission of bids. However, the date was later extended to September 7 after developers requested change in bidding documents. The ceiling tariff for the project is `2.93/kWh.
“The government could also explore some improvements to the bid, such as making use of the recent amendment to the hybrid policy to include a storage option,” Rao said.