India’s NTPC to buy 15GW solar power in reverse auction

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India’s NTPC to buy 15GW solar power in reverse auction

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), a state-owned firm in India, has announced plans to launch a tender process to purchase 15,000 MW of solar power.

This new tender of 15,000 MW of solar power is in addition to NTPC’s plans to set up 10,000 MW of solar power on its own. NTPC has an installed capacity of 44,598 MW of renewable energy and aims to increase the contribution of clean energy to 28 % of its planned capacity of 128,000 MW by 2032.

NTPC will invite proposals from solar project developers to purchase electricity in a dollar-denominated tariff. The tender will be issued on behalf of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and it tis expected to reduce the solar power tariff from around Rs.6.7 per unit currently to around Rs.4.37 per unit.

In late February 2014 the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, approved the implementation of the scheme for setting up of 15,000 MW of Grid-connected Solar PV Power projects under the National Solar Mission through NTPC in three tranches namely,

  • 3000 MW under Tranche-l under mechanism of Bundling with Unallocated Coal based Thermal Power and fixed levellised tariffs,
  • 5,000 MW under Tranche-ll with some support from Government to be decided after getting some experience while implementing Tranche-l and
  • 7,000 MW under Tranche-Ill without any financial support from the Government.

It is estimated that implementation of Tranche-l of the scheme will entail total investment of over Rs.180 billion (US$2.83 billion), all of which will be met by project developers, mainly private.

The first Phase of the National Solar Mission (2010-2013) had a target of 1100 MW for Grid-connected solar power generation capacity, against which 1685 MW was set up in the country under various schemes. Further capacity addition of 9,000 MW comprising 3,000 MW under Central schemes and 6,000 MW under State initiatives/ other mechanisms was envisaged In the 2nd phase of the Mission (April 2013-March 2017).

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