India has held its first auction for a utility-scale PV project combined with an energy storage facility. The local company Mahindra Susten won with their bid of 2.99 billion IDR (46 million USD).
NLC India, a state-run coal mining and power firm, has held an auction for a 20 MW solar PV project, which will be combined with a 28 MWh energy storage facility. Both are located in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. It was the first auction of this kind in India. The project is promising, as the islands rely heavily on expensive diesel generation. The possibility of storing PV energy would thus be a great and economical option for both locations.
Mahindra Susten won with bid of 2.99 billion IDR (46 million USD)
According to Bridge to India, the leading consultancy and knowledge services provider in the Indian renewable market, NLC’s tender already includes EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) and O&M (Operation and Maintenance) services for 25 years. Especially for the EPC, the bids varied largely, which suggests that the technical specifications were unclear to the bidders. Meanwhile, the winning bid of 2.99 billion IDR (46 million USD) came from Indian company Mahindra Susten. Other bidders were Adani, Sterling & Wilson, Ujaas, Exide, Hero and BHEL.
Tender marks beginning of better times for Indian solar market
After various auctions and tenders had recently been dropped due to the historically low prices for solar in the country, this new development is good news for India’s solar sector. And new projects bring a positive outlook: 19 applications for energy storage in India will create more than 200 MWh of opportunities to come over the next five years. A welcome change after Bridge to India noted a lack of appreciation in India for the advantages of storage and noted that distribution companies (Discoms) have tended to opt for “power cuts and curtailment to balance power demand and supply rather than committing to the use of expensive storage solutions”.
Recently, SECI has auctioned off-grid mini-grid projects in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, with around 14 MW of solar and 42 MWh of storage. All the projects will be combined with the diesel generation that is currently present at these locations.
Meanwhile, the popularity of storage could soon rise in India, as the country’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is debating how and whether to introduce a regulation for solar and wind projects above a certain size to be coupled with energy storage.
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