Solairedirect SA, France’s second largest solar power producer, won the bid for the 5-MW project to sell electricity as part of the 350-MW photovoltaics-based solar projects Batch II of Phase I of the National Solar Mission. The company emerged as the top bidder with a 7.49 Rs/kWh quote for a 5-MW project in the North-western state of Rajasthan, which boasts the country’s highest solar irradiation.
The bids were presented before NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), the power trading arm of National Thermal Power Corporation. The tender attracted bidders from around the world (India, Germany, USA, UK and France) with a total of several GW of projects, and was structured as a reverse auction.
India uses more than 50 GW of diesel generation, a large part of which can now be displaced by solar power, which is now proven to be substantially less expensive by the latest round of JNNSM bidding. At the same-time the prices of coal-fired electricity are being hiked substantially, making an even bigger case for solar power generation.
Commenting on this win, Thierry Lepercq, Chairman Solairedirect said, “This is a huge opportunity that Solairedirect, along with its Indian partners, intends to seize – now. Its success in the JNNSM bidding establishes the company’s pioneering position in the race for universal solar – local, clean, abundant and affordable energy for the common man.”
According to Gaurav Sood, Managing Director, Solairedirect India “Solairedirect is proud of setting this pricing benchmark and making solar energy as a very competitive & important source in the energy mix of the country. We have established a clear competitive leadership and would leverage the same to set-up very large solar power plants across different states in the country by offering competitive solar power to DISCOMs, generators and private companies. We would welcome assistance of local governments on land and grid evacuation availability.”
Solairedirect India would be participating across other state programmes on its own and in partnership with other companies, and will provide its technical expertise towards building high quality & high performing solar PV plants. Sood says we are looking forward to forging stronger ties with companies and other developers over the next months to increase our PPA pipeline and EPC business.
Incidentally, last week in France, Solairedirect and the regional government of Poitou- Charentes signed Europe’s first power-purchase agreement for solar energy with Soregies, a local utility to build 60 megawatts in photovoltaic capacity and sell the power over 30 years at prices as low as 108 euros a megawatt hour. It was the first major market-based PPA in Europe ever signed for solar systems.