State-run NTPC Ltd on Monday deferred a tender for 2,000 megawatts (MW) solar power by a week as local companies started to feel the effect of a safeguard duty on solar cell and module imports from China and Malaysia, said two people aware of the development. The postponement of reverse auction by India’s largest power generation utility was triggered by concerns among pre-qualified bidders on the impact of the safeguard duty on their financial models.
The solar developers had submitted technical bids to participate in the reverse auction ahead of the imposition of the safeguard duty on 30 July. To be sure, this is the second time that the auction has been deferred. “This is the first interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar auction by NTPC that has now been deferred to 14 August over safeguard duty concerns which will impact tariff to the tune of around 35-40 paise per unit,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity. India achieved a record low solar power tariff of Rs.2.44 per unit in May 2017. Earlier last month, tariffs again touched Rs.2.44 per unit in an auction conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corp. of India.