Aditya Birla Renewables places lowest bid at Odisha solar power auctions

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Aditya Birla Renewables Ltd, part of diversified business conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, has offered the lowest bid of Rs 2.79 per unit for putting up 75 Mw solar power project in Odisha in response to the 200 Mw solar power tenders floated by Gridco, the state-controlled bulk power trader.

 
At its first ever solar power auctions, Odisha has discovered competitive tariffs, beating its own expectations. The solar bid tariffs in the country has largely remained below Rs 3 per unit in calendar 2018, ranging between Rs 2.44 and Rs 2.75 per unit.

Three other players --- Sukhbir Agro Energy Ltd, Gupta Power Infrastructure Ltd and Eden Renewable Varenne Private Ltd --- have bagged 25 Mw, 20 Mw and 50 Mw capacities, respectively, at a price of Rs 3.19 per unit. Acme Solar has quoted Rs 3.20 per unit for 50 Mw plant.

 
Azure Power, Mahindra Susten Pvt Ltd and Hero Solar Energy Pvt Ltd also participated in the reverse auction process.

“The rates discovered in Odisha are satisfactory. However, Gridco has to cough up more money as the difference between the L1 and L2 prices is a whopping 40 paise compared to other states where the figure hovers around one paisa to two paise,” said Chandrashekhar Mishra, managing director, Canyon Consultancy Pvt Ltd, a Bhubaneswar -based project management consultant for solar projects.

 
Sources said Aditya Birla Renewables may put up capacities at its plant sites in Rayagada and Sambalpur as the project proponent has the right to choose the land as per the tender document.
Gridco may offer another 100 Mw to Aditya Birla Group under the greenshoe option.

 
Gridco, which had floated the tender, had received 14 bids from the interested players. Sources said that against the target of 200 Mw, the state’s bulk trader received bids for a whopping 845 Mw.

Gridco will enter into a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with the successful bidder for 25 years from the date of commercial operations.

 
Until newly discovered rates, the price in Odisha for solar was Rs 4.5 per unit under a scheme of the New and Renewable Energy (NRE) Ministry.

 
The installed solar power capacity in Odisha is 93 Mw but the state sources about 75 Mw from outside. The latest tariff rate in Odisha for solar is Rs 4.5 per unit under a scheme of the NRE Ministry.

Private sector interest in Odisha's solar power sector had not seen enough traction until now as opposed to central PSUs who had a rush of proposals. NTPC, NLC Ltd, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) and SJVN, a mini-ratna PSU, have evinced interest in participating in the state's solar park programme.

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