Local and foreign firms bid for Indian solar projects

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India has received bids from 154 companies including Spain’s Gestamp Solar, Fonroche Energy of France and local utilities Reliance Power Ltd and Tata Power Co for contracts to build solar power facilities, according to a source.

India had called bids to build and operate 350 megawatt of solar power facilities. These will be the second round of contracts to be given under a federal program to have 20 gigawatt of solar capacity by 2022.

More than half of India’s power generation capacity of 182 GW is coal-based, while government officials term the current solar capacity as negligible. Building of plants to generate 350 MW solar power is estimated to require 35 billion rupees ($714 million) in investments.

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The solar power units of Lanco Infratech Ltd, GAIL (India) Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp, Moser Baer Projects Pvt Ltd, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd and Mahindra Solar One Pvt Ltd were also among the companies, which submitted as many as 218 proposals.

Several companies had avoided the previous auction for 620 MW, citing unfavorable terms and small size of projects, prompting the government to relax rules such as the timeframe for establishing projects and expand capacities.

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