SunEdison wins 500MW of India PV with record 4.63 rupees bid

US renewables giant SunEdison emerged as the winner of 500MW of Indian PV after tabling a knockout bid of 4.63 rupees ($0.07) per kWh in the country’s latest tender – a record low for Indian solar.

SunEdison saw off rival bids from major competitors including Trina Solar, First Solar, SkyPower and Tata Power in the auction for capacity to be built within a large solar park in Andhra Pradesh state.

The price, which secured all the megawatts available in this week's process,  is well below the 5.05 rupees with which Canada’s SkyPower won 150MW of capacity in Madhya Pradesh in an auction held earlier this year.

State-controlled power group NTPC will buy the output contracted under the Andhra Pradesh tender, held under the auspices of India’s National Solar Mission (NSM).

India’s power minister Piyush Goyal said he was “delighted that an all-time low solar tariff of 4.63 rupees has been achieved during reverse e-auction conducted by NTPC”.

The price will provide a boost to the credibility of PV as a mainstream power source as the country chases its ambitious target of 100GW installed by 2022.

The NSM will be central to delivering that capacity, and the Andhra Pradesh tender is the first for several years to be held under its umbrella.

The ultra-low bid may also revive concerns over the viability of projects.

Consultancy Bridge to India said earlier this week that any winning bid below 5.25 rupees/kWh was likely to prove an “unattractive investement”.

However, the heft of SunEdison and presence of NTPC as the off-taker are likely to have helped make such a bid possible.

Trina was the lowest bidder after the first round earlier this week with a 5.21 rupees offer.

Local wind group Suzlon also took part in the auction as part of its attempt to build presence in the solar market, but its bid was ruled out at the initial stage.