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Friday, December 9, 2011

Lowest rates at power generation bid

A bidding for power generation kindled hopes of generating solar energy worth at least Rs 4,000 crore. What’s more, it has triggered a fall in rates, according to an official associated with the development.

Aggression was the key word at the bidding process on Friday for the 350-Mw photovoltaics-based solar projects under the second batch of the first phase of the National Solar Mission. The result was encouraging: the lowest bid submitted (by Solar Director) was for Rs 7.94 per unit, while the highest (Green Infra) was Rs 9.39. This, when Rs 15 per unit is the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s approved price.

The bids were made before NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), the power trading arm of National Thermal Power Corporation (which was nominated to handle the first phase too).

The developers would sell power to NVVN at this rate for the next 25 years. The government has targeted the selection of grid-connected solar PV projects up to 350 Mw under Batch-2 in 2011-12.

An NVVN official said nearly 400 bidders had submitted request for qualification. Of them, about 160 were shortlisted. They were the one’s who submitted their request for on Friday’s proposal (financial) bid, he told Business Standard.

The official said the fall of rates were largely due to the availability of highly efficient and cheaper technology.

Power analyst D Radhakrishna said NVVN must be saving around Rs 1 crore per hour over last year’s offer and around half of the tariff proposed. “States will now need to revisit the already approved tariff.”

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