Indian units of Sembcorp, Saudi firm win govt auctions to sell solar power

India has set a target of raising its renewable energy to 175 gigawatts by 2022. PHOTO: SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES

CHENNAI (REUTERS) - The Indian units of Sembcorp Industries and Saudi Arabia's Aljomaih Holding won government auctions to sell solar power for a record low of 2 rupees (S$0.036) per kilo watt hour (kWh), sources said.

The tariff represented a discount of nearly a sixth from the lowest bid for solar power of 2.36 rupees in the auctions conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) in June.

India, the world's third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has set a target of raising its renewable energy to 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022 and 450 GW, from about 90 GW now.

Sembcorp's Indian unit Green Infra Wind Energy will operate a solar plant with a capacity of 400 megawatts (MW), while Aljomaih Energy and Water will construct a 200 MW plant, a screengrab of the results of the auctions conducted by SECI showed.

Three sources familiar with the matter, including a SECI official, independently confirmed the development. NTPC and Sembcorp declined comment. Reuters was not able to contact Aljomaih for comment beyond regular business hours.

SECI, the country's main agency for renewable energy adoption, awards contracts to the company offering to sell electricity at the lowest price, following which a power purchase agreement (PPA) is signed.

The decline in renewable energy generation costs has helped India in its drive to use green power to fight climate change.

India's largest electricity generator NTPC Ltd won the licence to operate the remaining 470 MW at 2.01 rupees per kWh. The companies will develop the power plants in India's northwestern desert state of Rajasthan.

Sembcorp shares were trading up nine cents or 5.2 per cent to $1.82 by the midday trading break following news of the auction results.

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