NEW DELHI: An auction to award 500 MW of windpower contracts in Maharashtra on Tuesday saw tariffs firming up, breaking a streak of plummeting prices for electricity generated from the renewable energy source.
Adani Green Energy and KCT Renewable Energy offered to supply electricity at Rs 2.85 per unit in their bids for 75 MW each. All other winners of the auction, conducted by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd, quoted a higher amount.
Previous auctions have seen windpower tariffs falling below Rs 2.50 per kWh, with the lowest being Rs 2.43 in a 500 MW reverse auction conducted by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd in December last year. In February this year, the largest wind auction of 2000 MW capacity conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India saw the winning tariffs at Rs 2.44 and Rs 2.45.
The higher tariff in the latest auction does not come as a surprise, as states like Gujarat have more efficient wind zones and systems than Maharashtra, industry experts said. On Tuesday, Inox Wind Ltd, Mytrah Energy and Hero Wind Energy quoted Rs 2.86 per unit for 50 MW, 100 MW and 75 MW of projects. Torrent Power placed the highest bid at Rs 2.87 per unit for 146 MW — it will though get only the balance of the 500 MW.
While the latest rates are way above the existing wind tariffs which have reached grid parity, it is difficult to conclude this as a reversed trend, said an industry player, who did not wish to be named. "The track record of Maharashtra as a destination for renewable energy power is considered to be pretty bad. The state has a record of not really honouring PPAs, and making delayed payments. Probably that was the reason many companies also avoided these auctions," this person said.
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