Government will cancel clean energy bids with high tariffs: RK Singh

Indicating at a tough stand against any apparent malpractice in bidding, renewable energy minister RK Singh said Clean energy auctions will be canceled by the government if the tariffs found unreasonable through competitive bidding.

Singh was responding to a question on recent cancellation of bids received for 2,400-MW solar projects. The minister said that his ministry is vigilant on the global trends that influence clean energy tariffs and hence the ministry in its right can exercise its discretion to define the maximum permissible tariffs for solar bids reports ET.

“I am here to protect the people’s interest. We will accept bids which are reasonable. If I come across any bids which are excessive, we will cancel it,” Singh said.

Recently power minister informed the finance ministry about the cartelization attempt by SB Energy to jack up tariffs in a 3,000-MW solar tender floated by SECI, which stood partly cancelled after the price bids were submitted by developers. However,  SoftBank denying the allegation said it always abides by the law and acts ethically. Officials, on the other hand, said bids were rejected only because of high prices.

“We found certain bids to be unacceptable and we did not accept the bids, (on the ground that) the price was high,” Anand Kumar, secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said while addressing a press conference ahead of its flagship renewable energy event RE-Invest and the first general assembly of International Solar Alliance next week.

The government and the private sector have recently been at odds following the former’s decision to cap solar tariffs at Rs 2.5 per unit for solar auctions conducted by SECI, with a margin of 18 paise if safeguard duty is being factored in.