Mahindra wins India’s first large scale solar plus storage auction
State-run coal mining and power firm NLC India has auctioned a 20MW solar PV project to be combined with 28MWh of energy storage capacity in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
According to consultancy firm Bridge to India, this is the first time such an auction for utility-scale storage has been completed in India with bids announced.
It’s positive news for the sector, which faced setbacks this year when Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) decided to cancel it’s first major solar-plus-storage tenders in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka after the price of PV dropped so low in the rest of the country that it had to rework the tender. NTPC had also dropped a smaller tender in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Indian Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) has also said that the market is in an “interesting phase” at present with 19 applications for energy storage in India, which creates more than 200MWh of opportunities for the next five years.
Bridge to India said the NLC tender includes EPC and O&M services for 25 years and Indian firm Mahindra Susten won by quoting a price of INR2.99 billion (US$46 million). Some of the other bidders included Adani, Sterling & Wilson, Ujaas, Exide, Hero and BHEL.
There was a large variation in the bids for the EPC segment, which suggested there was inconsistent understanding of the technical specifications amongst the bidders, according to Bridge to India. SECI’s own tenders faced similar problems, where a lack of understanding around technical specifications and price caps had led to a delay before the final cancellations.