Five Companies Win 700 MW Solar Auction for Dholera Solar Park
A huge solar park with a capacity of 700 MW is taking shape in Dholera SIR. Five companies Vena Energy Renewables, Tata Power, ReNew Power, SJVN Limited and TEQ Green Power (a subsidiary of O2 Power) have won the auctions. The auction for a 700 MW solar project was floated by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited. The plant will be a part of Dholera Solar Park (Phase IX). This announcement has come as an opportunity in disguise for investors who wish to purchase a plot in residential projects in Dholera SIR. Dholera, being developed as the first smart city of India is attracting a huge number of investors with each announcement of exciting upcoming projects. Of late, inquiries for Dholera SIR plot has seen a steep increase.
GUVNL originally issued the tender for a 700 MW solar plant last year. It was reissued in March again. Vena Energy Renewables, Tata Power and SJVN have won projects for 100 MW each. ReNew bagged project for 200 MW. TEQ aimed for 500 MW but under the bucket-filling method, it was awarded a project of only 200 MW. Vena Energy Renewables and Tata Power quoted a tariff of ₹2.78 (~$0.0373)/kWh. ReNew Solar quoted ₹2.79 (~$0.0374)/kWh, SJVN quoted ₹2.80 (~$0.375)/kWh, and TEQ quoted ₹2.81 (~$0.377)/kWh.
The tender for 700 MW of grid-connected solar projects in Gujarat’s Dholera Solar Park (Phase IX) received an overwhelming response. It was oversubscribed by 600MW. Against the capacity of 700 MW, the tender received bids amounting to 1.3 GW. Leading companies competing for the tender were Tata Power, Torrent Power, Vena Energy, SJVN Limited, ReNew Power, Juniper Green, O2 Power. Bids for 1.3 GW of projects were presented in total by these companies. In spite of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) announcement that for solar and wind projects, upper ceiling tariffs would no longer be prescribed in the future bids, the ceiling tariff was fixed at ₹2.92 (~$0.039)/kWh for Dholera Solar Park projects when the tender was announced. GUVNL floated a tender for 1 GW capacity last year. Since the capacity of 700 MW was retendered, ceiling tariff was announced with it.
When GUVNL floated the original tender in January 2019, the upper tariff ceiling was fixed at ₹2.75 (~$0.037)/kWh. The bid was extended four times. Ultimately, the tender was undersubscribed by 700 MW. In total, bids for 300 MW were submitted. GUVNL rounded it off to 250 MW and auctioned 80% of the capacity for which other companies submitted the bids. In May 2019, Gujarat auctioned 250 MW of solar projects at Dholera Solar Park (Phase V). Tata Power won the bid to develop 200 MW at ₹2.75 (~$0.039)/kWh. At the same price, Gujarat Industries Power Company Limited won the bid to set up 500 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects.
The Dholera Solar Park is an ambitious project of the Government and upon completion, it is expected to cover a sprawling 27,000 acres of land. As per a press release issued by the Government of Gujarat, “The proposed solar park will attract investment of ₹250 billion (~$3.84 billion) and provide employment opportunities to more than 20,000 individuals.”
Gujarat is one of the leading states when it comes to developing large-scale solar projects. Currently, the state has about 2.4 GW of prominent solar projects in operation. As of June 2020, 2.3 GW capacity of projects is under development in Gujarat. With Gujarat emerging as a hub for solar power generation in India, it is unarguable that Dholera is all set to witness a growth spurt as a renewable energy hub after announcements of exciting solar power plant projects.
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