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NEW DELHI: State-run hydropower generator SJVN Ltd has secured 1 gigawatt (GW) solar power project contract in the bids floated by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd(IREDA) by quoting a tariff of 2.45 per unit.

This comes in the backdrop of India’s solar power tariffs starting to rebound from the record lows of last December, lifted by factors such as higher commodity prices and an increase in imported solar equipment cost from next year as reported by Mint earlier.

“Nand Lal Sharma, chairman and managing director, SJVN informed that the company bagged the project through open competitive bidding process for quoted capacity of 1,000 MW at the maximum tariff of 2.45 per unit," SJVN said in a statement.

Rising commodity costs and a 40% basic customs duty on solar modules and 25% on solar cells to be imposed from April 2022 is influencing the keenly-contested auction rounds, with developers calibrating these new realities while placing bids. India’s solar power tariffs hit a record low of 1.99 per unit in December 2020 at an auction conducted by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd.

“Sharma said that SJVN bagged the full quoted capacity of 1,000 MW at a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support of 44.72 Lakh per MW by government of India. The power generated from above projects shall be solely for self-use or use by government/government entities, either directly or through discoms," the statement said and added, “Sharma further said that SJVN participated in a VGF based competitive bidding process for solar project of capacity 5,000 MW floated by IREDA."

SJVN Ltd plans to have a 25 GW capacity by 2040. The firm has an operational portfolio of 2 GW and is executing 27 projects in hydropower, thermal, solar and wind sectors in India, Bhutan and Nepal.

“He further informed that the tentative cost of construction and development of this project is 5,500 crore," the statement said.

SJVN Ltd has also pitched for more hydropower projects from Nepal as part of India’s playbook of helping build a South Asia-focused energy security architecture.

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