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Rs 132 billion worth solar projects to be bid under Indian national mission

According to reports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy plans to award solar power projects worth 1,650 MW in 2013-14, under the Phase II of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

This will call for an investment of about Rs 13,200 crore.

According to sources in the Ministry, another 1,950 MW will be allocated to developers in the following year.

Thus, in two years, as much as 3,600 MW of solar power capacity will be allocated to project developers.

Solar power prices have come down drastically over the past couple of years in tandem with the fall in the prices of solar modules.

The highest tariff offered by a winning bidder in the previous round was Rs 9.44 a kWhr, down from Rs 12.76 in the round before.

Still solar power is costlier. To get it within reach of the buyers (electricity distribution companies) the MNRE has proposed three measures — ‘bundling’ (or, combining selling of solar power with that of power from conventional sources, so that the weighted average price is not high), viability gap funding (VGF) and generation-based incentive.

According to sources, 800 MW of capacity will be bid out under the ‘bundling’ route and another 750 MW under VGF. (Under VGF, a selling tariff is first fixed and the developers who require the least amount of funding from the government — in order to be viable at that tariff — are given funding.)

Another 100 MW is proposed to be developed through rooftop and small solar programmes.

Since it takes about Rs 8 crore per MW, the total investment that the 1,650 MW of capacity, which is to be allocated in 2013-14, is around Rs 13,200 crore.

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