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Web Exclusive | January 2013

TN solar bid seriously flawed: SIPPA

The Solar Independent Power Producers Association (SIPPA) has said that the Tamil Nadu solar bid is seriously flawed. In a petition sent just days before the last date for submission of bids (January 4), the Association requested the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission to 'instruct; the Tamil Nadu’s State-owned electricity generation and distribution company, Tangedco, to conduct a transparent and fair bidding process.

The issue pertains to a tender floated by Tangedco which called for solar power developers to (set up solar power plants and) sell solar power to Tangedco under a 20-year power purchase agreements, at rates arrived at by the competitive bidding process. The bids closed on January 4, and where Tangedco had wanted to buy power from 1,000 mw of solar capacity, the response was only for 499 mw of capacity.

SIPPA, in its petition to TNERC asked that how can a bidder of 1 mw capacity accept the tariff negotiated by a developer of 100 mw? Conversely, does a price negotiated by L-1 bidder of, say, 1 mw or 5 mw, become benchmark for the remaining 995 mw?, it asked.

It said that the process 'does not seem logical' because it “rather encourages the bidders to quote a price which shall not be L-1 in any case. This is because, the 1,000 mw capacity will be spread at least over 100 to 150 developers and all except the L-1 bidder will have the option to accept the benchmark price or exit the process safely by getting their earnest money deposit back.

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