SunEdison Wins 500MW India Solar Project With Record Low Tariffs

SunEdison Inc., the world’s biggest developer of renewable energy power plants, won all 500 MW of solar capacity offered through a government auction in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, said Tarun Kapoor, an official at the ministry of new and renewable energy.

The Maryland Heights, Mo.-based company won with a bid of 4.63 rupees a kWh, the lowest tariff offered in an Indian solar auction, according to the ministry official. SunEdison didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment on its bid, which was 8 percent lower than any other offered in a previous auction.

SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan and Chinese solar products maker Trina Solar Ltd. also participated in the auction, a first for the two companies.

Previously, SkyPower Ltd. of Toronto won 150 MW of solar capacity in July by quoting a tariff of 5.05 rupees per kWh, the lowest tariff at the time.

The low bids have raised concerns, with some analysts and investors citing the possibility that projects won’t get built at such aggressive pricing.

Energy Targets

"We could see a repeat of what happened in thermal power and the roads sector, where people took aggressive business calls, which was not good for the country in the end," Rupesh Agarwal, a partner at BDO India LLP, said.

Others say low tariffs are good for distribution companies, the government’s clean energy target and the sentiment around India’s solar industry.

India aims to install 100 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2022, up from about 4 gigawatts at the moment.

©2015 Bloomberg News

Lead image: Andhra Pradesh, India. Credit: TACstock / Shutterstock.com

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