The Solar Energy Corporation of India will soon hold the first auctions under the phase 2 batch 3 of the National Solar Mission.

According to media reports, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will soon announce details of the auction of 500 MW capacity in Maharashtra and 250 MW capacity in Gujarat. The projects will be auctioned under the viability gap funding program. The projects would be among the first utility-scale solar power projects to be implemented in Gujarat under a central government solar power policy.

Prospective project developers would be required to bid for the amount of capital cost support required to set up every MW of solar power project. Developers that place the lowest bids will be selected for project development.

The SECI plans to hold auction for 2 GW of cumulative solar power capacity under phase 2 batch 3 program. Auctions will be held following consultations with states. Governments that are willing to provide land and other required facilities to the projects shall be allocated a certain capacity.

Of the 2 GW capacity envisaged for implementation, 250 MW would be based on modules manufactured locally in India. The maximum allowed bid for financial support is ₹1 crore (~$154,000) for the open category (no restriction on use of imported or domestic modules) and ₹1.21 (~186,000) crore for the domestic content category.

Developers will sell power at ₹5.43/kWh (US¢8.35/kWh) during the first year and the tariff would increase by ₹0.05/kWh (US¢0.07/kWh) every year for the next 20 years. Thus, the highest tariff of ₹6.43/kWh (US¢9.89/kWh) would be achieved in the 21st year.

Once the SECI announces the name of selected project developers, they will have 14 months to commission the projects.