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Maharashtra solar auction winning tariffs remain unchanged at Rs 2.74 per unit
Tariffs in Maharashtra's latest solar auction for 1,000 MW, held on Monday, remained almost unchanged from the last one conducted eight months ago, with mostly domestic developers participating. Shiv Solar and Acme Solar won 50MW and 300MW respectively at the lowest winning tariff of Rs 2.74 per unit, while ReNew Power and Avaada Energy won 300MW and 350MW at Rs 2.75 per unit. “Lower tariffs were in any case not justified as all kinds of costs are going up,” said a developer on condition of anonymity. “Prices should rise, but the moment they do, states have been cancelling the auction itself. So developers have stayed close to the old price.” In the May 2018 auction held by Maharashtra, winning tariffs had been Rs 2.71-2.72 per unit.
The tariff is distinctly lower than that at the last solar auction held in the country, by Gujarat in December, at which the winning price was Rs 2.84 per unit. Unhappy with the tariff, which was higher than Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) officials expected, they promptly cancelled the auction. Others to have cancelled auctions last year because they found the winning tariff higher than their previous auction include Solar Corporation of India and Uttar Pradesh.
The impact of safeguard duty of 25% has not been factored into the tariff and will be added once the exact quantum of the impact is known.
A unique feature of the latest Maharashtra solar auction is that projects can be set up anywhere in the country, not necessarily in the state itself, and the power transmitted to Maharashtra. "Winners may not build their projects in Maharashtra, which has lower solar radiation than states like Rajasthan,” said a developer. “They could build them in Rajasthan and send the power to Maharashtra, which is perhaps why they have quoted low tariffs."