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Andhra Pradesh High Court cancels 6.4 GW solar project tender

Friday, 18 Jun 2021
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The Andhra Pradesh High Court has cancelled the request for selection (RfS) and power purchase agreement (PPA) for procuring 6.4 GW solar power projects.

The High Court stated that the state had awarded solar power tenders in contravention of the Electricity Act 2003.

Tata Power Renewable Energy had moved the HC challenging the RfS and PPA issued by the Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation (APGECL) in January 2021.

Adani Green Energy (AGEL) in February 2021 won five mega solar power projects of 600 MW each under the tender. The state-owned NTPC won 600 MW in the auction, quoting the lowest tariff of Rs 2.48 per kWh (unit). The lowest tariff discovered in the whole auction process was Rs 2.47 a unit by Torrent Power for 300 MW solar project. The award of the tender was put on hold.

The bidding process might undergo revision as both the RfS and PPA were quashed. The High Court has now advised the government of Andhra Pradesh that in case it wishes to procure power, the bidding documents must be in accordance with the Act as well as the guidelines framed thereunder and in case of any deviation, such deviations must be approved by APERC.

The PPA by APGECL mentioned that any dispute regarding the project would be settled by the state government, as against the legal requirement of moving the state or central electricity regulator. The APGECL had continued with the tendering process despite the legal challenge.

The grid connected power is to be generated at 10 solar parks in Andhra Pradesh under the tender. The plants are planned to be built in the districts of Kurnool, Ananthapuramu, Prakasam and Kadapa.

The tender received significant investor interest despite the state government cancelling all prior renewable energy contracts in 2019, citing high tariff and malafide intentions. Close to 10 GW of solar and wind power projects in the state were hit by this decision.

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