India under its JNNSM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) is about to launch bidding for 1500 MW of solar power projects.

The bidding will come under the JNNSM Phase 2 Batch 2, which aims to achieve 10 GW of solar power by 2017, and as a part of this phase the government has already tendered 750 MW of solar power projects earlier in January this year, and plans to have a total of 20 GW of solar power capacity by 2022. The solar power produced under this phase would be bundled with the conventional power and will be sold to distribution licensees at an average rate of power purchase (APPC).

The selling and bundling of power would be handled by NVVN (NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam), a subsidiary of India’s power giant NTPC. According to NVVN officials the cost of bundled power would be around Rs. 4-4.5 per unit.

The development is confirmed by Mr Tarun Kapoor Joint Secretary MNRE saying that – “We are in consultation with all the stakeholders and would come out with bidding guidelines soon, most likely the bidding would commence by July-August”.

Mr. Piyush Goyal (Hon’ble Minister of Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy in the Government of India.) had given an indication earlier about setting up higher targets and advancing the timeline of the Solar Mission. “With both power and renewable energy under the same minister, it was easy to co-ordinate with the power department to allocate conventional power for bundling solar power“, said a senior official at the (MNRE).

The last batch of bidding under JNNSM had fixed the tariff at Rs. 5.45 per unit supported with viability gap funding. A senior MNRE official said that “it was effort of NVVN that the cost of solar power came down by Rs. 8-10 per unit from Rs. 17 per unit in 2011 “, also added that the ministry is hopeful of achieving grid parity by 2017.

You can access our earlier blog post on the results of JNNSM Phase 2 Batch 1 here.

Recent media article can be accessed – Economic Times