According to reports, Indian businesses, which rushed eagerly to subscribe to bids under the Centre’s flagship solar power scheme last year, have been lukewarm to Tamil Nadu’s tender for 1,000 megawatts of power, also India’s single-biggest solar tender.
The southern Indian state received bids for only a little less than 500 megawatts. Power-starved Tamil Nadu is betting big on solar, with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa drawing up an ambitious plan to add 3,000 megawatts through this route by 2015.
Narasimhan Santhanam, Co-founder & Director of consultancy Energy Alternatives India, said the absence of players such as Tata Solar and Moser Baer from the process was notable.
US major Sun Edison submitted bids for a total of 50 megawatts through four separate bids while Welspun and Lanco bid for 30 megawatts and 25 megawatts, respectively.
The remaining nearly 400 megawatts bid was distributed across small projects totalling nearly 100, Madhavan Nampoothiri, founder and director, of RESolve Energy Consultants who attended the bid result meeting on Friday. He said the data is subject to confirmation by the State electricity utility Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation. As many as 38 companies have bid for 1 megawatt projects. This, despite the tender not specifying an upper limit.
“Short period of time and payment risks would have played its part in the Tamil Nadu solar bid process. This is a disappointment given that other bids have been over subscribed though quantum is low,” Bharat Bhushan Agrawal, solar analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. He also said that since it was a holiday season and there was short period of time, players from Europe and US did not participate.
The bid attracted some seemingly unlikely players such as gold retailer GR Thanga Maligai, Mohan Breweries and also hair care company VVD Sons.
When the tender was floated, analysts criticised the undue haste with which Tamil Nadu wants to put up solar projects.