ACME, Renew Win MSEDCL 500 MW Solar Tender

Highlights :

  • For ACME Solar, the win is another addition to a ever growing pipeline of projects after a slow 2019-20.
  • For ReNew Power, the project is the first win since CCI approval to merge with a SPAC.

ACME Solar continued its strong return to markets in 2021, with another 300 MW win in Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL)’s 500 Mw solar tender. ACME bid at Rs 2.42 /unit. The second winner was another renewable energy firm that has opened up better capital market access recently, ReNew Power, which bid Rs 2.43 for a 200 MW supply of solar power. Both the winners will now enter into a 25 year PPA with MSEDCL for supply of power. ACME, which has a stated policy of churning its competed assets in favour of new developments, a new phase of fresh development is clearly on, even as it continues to sell older assets in its portfolio.

High response

The tender had received a strong response, and as far as we could collect, total bids were for an aggregate supply of   almost 3.5 GW. For MSEDCL, this was a good result, as not only has response been high, but with no SECI in the picture, it has also managed a very acceptable bid price.

Missing Out

Among bidders missing out are Avaada Energy, NTPC Limited, TP Saurya (Tata Power), all of whom bid for 500 MW (490 MW in case of NTPC), all at prices over Rs 2.50 /unit.

MSEDCL Approach

The current tender stood out for a few different tweaks MSEDCL tried, to get a higher response and better prices.

The key one was the decision to remove a price cap, as its previous tender had capped prices at Rs 2.90/unit at a time of high volatility.

It also reduced the EMD (Earnest Money Deposit) requirements to Rs 4 lacs /MW, and a reduced performance guarantee of Rs 8 lacs instead of Rs 14 lacs per Mw.

Indicators

the results do indicate a very high interest, and funding available with the larger players to bid for solar projects. Especially overseas funding. And despite all the fears of steep price hikes, competition and projections of better sourcing options in 2022-23 seem to have helped keep bid prices relatively low.

With winners bidding for, and getting large parcels, it also signals tougher times for smaller players, who used to win small 50 MW lots. Though auctions continue to offer options of bidding from 10 MW to 50 MW minimum sizes, we could be seeing a clear shift to very few but large winners even for larger tenders.

The results will also be watched carefully by many other state discoms that are in better financial health, as we have seen many beginning to chafe at SECI’s 7 paise trading margins now.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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