ACME Bikaner Solar Power Pvt Ltd has emerged the winner in the 25 MW solar PV programme of the Odisha Government, quoting a tariff of Rs 7.28 per kWhr. The company, a subsidiary of ACME Tele Power Ltd, will invest Rs 200 crore in putting up the project.

Among the other bidders were Welspun Renewable (which quoted Rs 9.40) and Essel Mining and Industries Ltd (Aditya Birla Group venture in Solar) (Rs 9.50).

ACME expects solar power to achieve ‘grid parity’ (same price as conventional power) soon, “which is clearly visible in the tariff offered for the Odisha project,” the company has said.

ACME’s solar portfolio of 67.5 MW includes 15 MW Solar in Gujarat (commissioned), 2.5 MW Solar Thermal in Rajasthan (commissioned) and 25 MW Solar PV in Madhya Pradesh which is under installation.

In the previous bid of Odisha Government, Alex Green Energy, won the right to develop a 25-MW project under Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency scheme at a tariff of Rs 7 per unit. However, the company decided to opt only for 5 MW capacity. For the remaining 20 MW capacity under the previous bid, another tender of 20 MW is expected soon.

Each time a tariff is quoted, it becomes a kind of benchmark for the other projects. The Odisha bid is happening at a time when two states—Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh—have come out with huge programmes of 1,000 MW each—opening up a Rs 20,000-crore opportunity. Given the scale, these states expect their bids to fetch “sub-Rs 7” tariffs.