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India’s Gujarat Seeks to Lower Solar Power Tariffs

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July 5 (Bloomberg) -- India’s Gujarat state, home to half the nation’s solar power-plant capacity, is seeking to cut the rate it pays to projects, citing the owners’ excessive profits.

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd., the state-run bulk buyer of solar power, submitted a petition to regulators because of the “unjustified and windfall gains” by plant owners, according to a copy obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by P.K. Mishra, chairman of Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The purchaser has signed 88 contracts for a total of 971.5 megawatts of solar capacity with developers including Adani Enterprises Ltd., Moser Baer India Ltd., Tata Power Co., and Welspun Energy Ltd. since 2010, according to the petition.

A “reasonable and prudent tariff” would be about 9 rupees (15 cents) a kilowatt-hour, less than the average 12.54 rupees over 25 years under current contracts, it said in the petition.

The first hearing on whether regulators will accept a case based on the petition will be held on July 23, Mishra said.

Gujarat Urja Managing Director Raj Gopal didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and two phone calls seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net