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Solar tariffs rise slightly in Rajasthan auction

Power News - Published on Wed, 27 Dec 2017

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Economic Times reported that after a steep fall for over two years, solar tariffs rose marginally at the latest auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. The two part auction for 750MW at Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan held on Thursday and Friday saw the winning tariff at INR 2.47 per unit in the first auction of 500 MW Bhadla solar park phase III, and Rs 2.48 per unit in the second auction of 250 MW Bhadla solar park phase IV.

Bhadla gets the best solar radiation in the country and historically has achieved the lowest prices at solar auctions.

In the last SECI auction held in May, the winning bid had been INR 2.44 per unit, the lowest until now, made by Acme Solar. This time in the first part of the auction, Hero Future Energies quoted the lowest tariff of Rs 2.47 per unit and was awarded the 300 MW it had asked for.

The remaining 200 MW went to SB Energy a joint venture of SoftBank, Foxconn and Bharti Airtel which quoted INR 2.48 per unit. The lowest price quoted in the second part of the auction was INR 2.48 per unit by Azure Power. It sought and obtained 200 MW. The remaining 50 MW has been awarded to Renew Power at INR 2.49 per unit.

Industry insiders cited three main reasons for the slight rise in solar tariffs. First, after falling for a number of years, solar module prices had begun rising in China, from where the bulk of Indian developers import their solar equipment.

Also, domestic solar manufacturers have petitioned the Director General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties to slap anti-dumping duty on imported solar modules. DGAD recently held its first hearing. Since Chinese solar panels are significantly cheaper than local ones, developers fear that if such a duty is imposed it would increase their input costs.

The third reason they cited is the arbitrary decision of the Central Board of Excise and Customs to start charging 7.5% duty on imported solar panels and modules. The practice, begun at Chennai port in September, has since spread to other ports. Developers had initially resisted paying up, thereby leading to thousands of containers of solar equipment being held up at ports. Factoring in this has also led to the tariff rise, industry insiders said.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 27 Dec 2017
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