Acme, Azure Power and SunEdison get the biggest share of the NSM

On 21st February 2014, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) opened the financial bids for the allocation of solar PV projects under batch one of phase two of the National Solar Mission (NSM). A total of 122 project bids were received from 58 developers. The lower the VGF sought, the higher the chances of success. Four bids – those by PMP Auto Components, Zandu Realty, Golden Crystal and Green Energy Wind – were cancelled as they did not meet the techno-commercial criteria. The bid by Moser Baer was cancelled as the bank guarantee was not provided.

  • Most developers opted for Gujarat or Rajasthan during the bidding session for allocation of solar PV projects
  • Some notable bidders who probably will not get projects are First Solar and Renew Power
  • In total, the government will likely pay a VGF of INR 4.02 billion

As expected, most of the developers have opted for locations in Gujarat or Rajasthan. The highest and lowest Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the domestic content requirement (DCR) category were INR 13.5m (USD 0.23m) by Swelect (10 MW) and INR 24.99m (USD 0.47m) by IL&FS Renewables (10 MW). The lowest and highest VGF sought for projects outside the DCR were INR 1.7m (USD 28,300) by Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (10 MW) and INR 24.9m (USD 4.7m) by Madhav Infra (10 MW).

Based on the final tally, under the non-DCR category, 15 project developers are expected to be invited to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 24 projects, totaling 375 MW. The average project size per developer would be around 25 MW. The highest winning bid under the non-DCR category is INR 13.5 m (USD 0.23m). Prominent developers that are likely to be allocated projects are Acme, SunEdison, Azure, Hero Future Energy and Belectric.

Under the DCR category, 15 project developers are expected to be invited to sign PPAs for 21 projects, also totaling 375 MW. The average project size per developer would also be around 25 MW. The highest winning bid under the non-DCR category is INR 24.5m (USD 0.4m) by Tata Power Solar. Other prominent developers that are likely to be allocated projects are SunEdison, SolaireDirect, Azure Power, Waaree, IL&FS and Hero Future Energies.

Some notable bidders who probably will not get projects, include US-based module supplier First Solar and Goldman-Sachs backed Renew Power. Leading Indian developer Welspun missed the mark by only INR 65,000 (USD 1,083).

In total, the government will likely have to pay a VGF of INR 4.02 billion (US $64.78 million) to cover all the allocations under the open category and INR 7.49 billion (US $120 million) to cover all the allocations under the DCR category. The extra INR 3.47 billion (US $55.9 million) is being provided by the Indian government to help support sale of Indian modules.

While most developers opted to keep their projects in a single location, SunEdison bid for most of their projects in different locations: Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The actual figures for the allocations and VGF will only be determined after the PPAs have been signed. We expect that to happen in the first week of April.

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