Enel announced its first solar plant in India – and a huge expansion of its footprint in Asia – after emerging as one of the winners of the nation's latest 2GW auction that’s said to have produced record-low bids.

The Italy-based global renewable energy giant said it won a 420MW deal to build a PV plant in Rajasthan in the ninth tranche of the PV programme run by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which runs tenders for the Indian government.

Enel’s existing assets in India are confined to 172MW of wind, and the latest tender marks the biggest splash yet for the Italian group in Asia, where it has negligible interests compared to its huge base in Europe and the Americas.

However, Enel has signalled growing ambitions in Asian markets, with Australia and Vietnam mentioned alongside India as potential growth targets.

Enel did not disclose the price bid for the plant, which is due to start operating at the end of 2021 under a 25-year supply deal after an investment of $180m.

Analysts in India reported tranche nine produced winning bids as low as a record 2.36 rupees/kWh ($0.031/kWh). The previous cheapest solar sold in India was 2.44 rupees.

Other winners in tranche nine were reported to include Spain’s Solarpack and local development giant ReNew Power.

Enel Green Power CEO Antonio Cammisecra said: “India represents an important market in a strategic geography for our company, as it boasts a wealth of renewable resources and a highly competitive environment coupled with growing energy demand.”