India’s renewable energy sector claimed a new milestone with the awarding of the country's first tender for 24/7 green power that’s set to include storage as part of its deployment.
Leading developer and IPP ReNew Power won the 400MW ‘round-the-clock’ (RTC) tender award after a competitive process run by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which handles renewable auctions for the Indian government.
The developer is free to deploy wind, solar or hybrid capacity in conjunction with storage to supply power day and night to two utilities – New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Dadar and Nagar Haveli. ReNew Power has been contacted by Recharge for more details.
The debut RTC auction – which unlike some recent Indian tenders was more than twice oversubscribed – was hailed by India’s power minister RK Singh as “a beginning towards firm, schedulable & affordable RTC supply through 100% [renewable] power”.
The winning price was 2.90 rupees/kWh ($0.038/kWh, $38/MWh) for the first year of the 15-year deals, rising by 3% annually.
Sidharth Jain, managing director of India-based research group MEC+, said the escalation gives a median price of around 4 rupees/kWh.
Jain cautioned: “It remains to be seen if the [power companies] will be okay to agreeing to this sort of for their power supply, as balancing is currently not in the scope of the IPP, and it is done at an aggregate level from existing infrastructure.”
India is chasing renewable deployment goals of 100GW of solar and 60GW of wind that are among the world’s most ambitious, but have faced challenges from issues such as land availability, financially weak state power companies and grid infrastructure.