The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency’s (IREDA) auction for 5 GW of grid-connected solar projects (Tranche-III) under the Central Public Sector Undertaking Program (Phase-II) was won by NTPC Limited, SJVN, NHPC, NLC India, and IRCON International.
NTPC won the maximum capacity of 1,990 MW, with a viability gap funding (VGF) of Rs 4.495 million per MW. The permissible VGF for the tender was Rs 5.5 million per MW. SJVN was awarded a capacity of 1,000 MW at a VGF of Rs 4.472 million per MW. NHPC also secured a 1,000 MW capacity with a VGF of Rs 4.49 million per MW. NLC India won 510 MW by quoting Rs 4.474 million per MW, while Ircon International won 500 MW quoting Rs 4.494 million per MW. The tender received a strong response from bidders and was 1,960 MW oversubscribed. The maximum VGF limit for the tender was Rs 5.5 million per MW, with a tariff cap of Rs 2.45 per kWh.
In January 2021, the tender was issued and the tariff for the project was set at Rs 2.20 per kWh by IREDA. After the issue of the tender, IREDA extended the bid submission deadline to May 31, 2021. IREDA also amended the request for selection issued for the projects, and the ceiling tariff for the projects was raised to Rs 2.45 per kWh from Rs 2.20 per kWh previously. The maximum period allowed for full project commissioning is 36 months from the date of the issuance of the letter of awards (LoA). According to the tender documents, 50 per cent of the viability gap funding would be released once the developer has awarded the contract to the EPC contractor. Within 12 months of receiving the LoA, the developer must sign the EPC agreement.