State-run NTPC and Project Ten Renewable Power are the top winners of Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) 1.2 gigawatt (GW) inter state transmission system (ISTS)-connected wind-solar hybrid power project. Both the companies cornered 450 megawatt (MW) capacity each. Azure Power and state-owned miner NLC India are the other two winners with 150 MW capacity each. The winners were decided through the e-reverse auction in August last year. The tender, which was floated in April 2021, comes with a project completion timeline of 18 months. Power generation major NTPC, NLC India and Project Ten Renewable Power quoted the lowest tariff of ₹2.34 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in their bids, while Azure Power India has quoted ₹2.35 per kWh. Other participants in the tender included ReNew Ushma Energy, Hero Solar Energy, Adani Renewable Energy Holding Nine, Torrent Power and ACME Solar Holdings.

The objective of the tender is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid systems for optimal and efficient utilisation of transmission infrastructure and land, reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability.

The hybrid project developers (HPDs), selected by SECI through a competitive bidding system, will set up the wind-solar hybrid power project on Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis and standard Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). SECI shall enter into PPA with the HPDs for a period of 25 years from the date as per the provisions of PPA.

Bidders given fiscal incentives

The bidders are also allowed to avail fiscal incentives like accelerated depreciation, concessional custom duties, tax holidays, etc., available for such projects as per prevailing conditions. As of December 2021, SECI has successfully awarded more than 50 GW of renewable capacity across the country, of which 32.69 GW is solar power, 12.73 GW is wind power and 5.35 GW is hybrid power. Besides, it has operational capex projects of 21 MW capacity under its ownership and the company is looking to expand its portfolio in renewable energy. These tenders are part of India’s transition to clean energy sources. India is home to one of the world’s largest RE programmes, with a target of 175 gigawatts (GW) of installed RE capacity by 2022.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to increase the country’s RE capacity to 500 GW by 2030. The government also has pledged to increase the contribution of RE sources in the country’s power generation to more than 50 per cent by the end of this decade, as the world’s second largest power consumer pledged to become carbon neutral by 2070.

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