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Bidding Chief for India’s First Solar Auction Resigns

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The head of a state-run power trading company that’s overseeing bids on India’s first solar auction stepped down in a potential setback to a government program seeking to promote sun-powered plants.

“Yes, I have resigned,” A.K. Goyal, chief executive officer of NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd., known as NVVN, said today by phone from New Delhi without disclosing a reason. He declined to comment further and no successor was named.

NVVN is the trading unit of the government-run NTPC Ltd., India’s biggest power producer. It’s collecting bids from project developers seeking to build plants that will be eligible for incentives under India’s Solar Mission, which aims to generate 20,000 megawatts of power from the sun by 2022.

The Solar Mission project “shall not get affected in any way by this development,” NTPC said today in an e-mailed response to questions.

NVVN is in the process of awarding capacity for 470 megawatts of solar thermal and 150 megawatts of solar photovoltaic projects, selecting developers offering the deepest discounts to the rate at which they’ll sell their electricity. Winners of the first round of bidding were expected to be announced by the end of December, Goyal said last month.

Tata Power Co., India’s largest non-state electricity developer, said last week it’s not participating in the auction, citing concerns including equipment import restrictions and aggressive bidding that may be underestimating the cost and complexity of setting up solar plants.

Reliance Power Ltd., owned by billionaire Anil Ambani, and Lanco Infratech Ltd. are among seven companies that have already been selected by NVVN, the Financial Express reported on Nov. 22 without saying where it got the information.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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