Solar tariffs at a new low with Amplus Energy bid
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New Delhi: Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd has won a bid to install 14.5 megawatts (MW) of solar rooftop plants across 10 states, offering power from these plants at tariffs starting at Rs3 per unit, the lowest ever in the country.
The firm, backed by US private equity firm I Squared Capital, has won bids to install plants in Maharashtra (3MW), Rajasthan (2MW), Punjab (2MW), Karnataka (2MW), Haryana (2MW), Himachal Pradesh (1MW), Madhya Pradesh (1MW), Uttarakhand (0.5MW), Puducherry (0.5MW) and Chandigarh (0.5MW).
The record low tariff of Rs3 per unit has been offered in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will get solar power at Rs5.56 per unit, Rajasthan at Rs5.38, Haryana at Rs5.76 and Punjab at Rs6.20 per unit. The tariffs have been fixed for 25 years.
“The Rs3 per unit tariff is unprecedented in Indian rooftop solar sector that has drastically reduced pricing dynamics. This is the lowest bid anyone has ever made in India. Even if you include subsidy that is given for solar rooftop projects, this is the lowest tariff ever quoted,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, managing director and chief executive of Amplus Energy.
In January, solar power tariffs in India had fallen to Rs4.34 per unit when Fortum Finnsurya Energy Pvt. Ltd of Finland won the contract for a 70-MW plant in Rajasthan.
Amplus, which in June acquired US solar power developer SunEdison Inc.’s roof-top solar power assets in India, won the bid under the 500MW rooftop grid connected scheme in different states floated by Solar Energy Corp. of India (SECI), a public sector unit dedicated to the solar energy sector.
“Solar rooftop plants will be identified and installed on buildings of NGOs, educational institutes, hospitals, trusts and not-for-profit firms in these states,” Amplus said. The company will invest Rs70 crore in the projects and install, operate and maintain them for a period of 25 years.
The projects will make possible carbon dioxide savings of 500,250 million tonnes or reduce consumption by 36,97,500 barrels of crude oil over a 25-year period, which is equivalent to planting 623,500 trees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has increased India’s solar power target from 20,000MW to 100,000MW by 2022. Of this, solar rooftop power is expected to contribute 40,000MW. While the offer of low tariffs is a significant development, the viability of such low rates for rooftop solar power is uncertain.
“There is no question of loss. The project is viable. Also, when a new project is offered at low prices, it encourages people to adopt it faster,” Sanjeev Aggarwal said.