India has auctioned the largest capacity of rooftop solar power projects in history and the results are extremely promising and could provide a much-needed boost to the rooftop solar power market.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) recently announced that it auctioned just over 503 megawatts of rooftop solar power projects across 35 states and union territories of the country. The auction was the first phase of a 1 gigawatt rooftop solar power program announced by SECI; under the program, rooftop solar power systems will be implemented atop government buildings across the country.
As per the data released by SECI, 50.2 megawatts was auctioned under the CAPEX model in 32 states. Under the model, the project owner and developer will contribute toward the project implementation through a mix of equity and debt funding and electricity will be sold at a tariff specified by the central or state regulators.
Bids under the CAPEX model were in the form of lowest capital cost needed to set up the systems. The maximum bid allowed was Rs 75,000/kW ($1,166/kW). The highest bid was recorded as Rs 65,000/kW ($1,010/kW).
Just over 453 megawatts of capacity was awarded under the RESCO model, where the developers will be required to bear the entire project cost upfront. The electricity will be sold at the tariff quoted by the developer during auction. Once the project breaks even all revenue from the sale of electricity will actually be developer’s profit.
The lowest tariff bid received under the RESCO model was Rs 2.20/kWh (3.4¢/kWh) for 11.2 megawatt of capacity in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The highest bid was placed for 9.6 megawatts of capacity in the state of Bihar at a tariff of Rs 4.59/kWh (7.1¢/kWh).
Some of the leading names in the Indian solar power market that participated in the auction include ReNew Solar Power, Mytrah Energy and Azure Power.
Under the both the models, project developers would also receive financial incentives depending on the time taken to commission the projects and their location; incentives will vary from $116/kW to $700/kW.