SunEdison, EDF-Backed ACME Lead India Solar Bid Winners

BlackRock Inc.-backed SunEdison Inc. and a renewable developer partially owned by Electricite de France SA’s clean-energy unit were among the biggest winners in India’s first national auction of solar permits since 2012.

SunEdison and World Bank-backed Azure Power India Pvt. won 100 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity each, according to bidding results. ACME Solar Energy Ltd., 25 percent-owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles, took at least 80 megawatts. A total of 750 megawatts was up for grabs.

For the first time, India offered as much as 18.75 billion rupees ($302 million) in grants to offset about 30 percent of project costs. Developers submitted bids specifying the amount sought, and those needing the least won. Those subsidies will allow the plants to sell their power at 5.5 rupees a kilowatt-hour, equal to the cost of grid power.

The government is expected to sign long-term power-purchase agreements with the winning developers in the first week of April, Bridge to India Energy Pvt., a New Delhi-based solar consultancy, said in a note to clients.

Developers who appear to have lost out this time include First Solar Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. and Welspun Energy Ltd., India’s biggest photovoltaic developer, the consultancy said.

Other winners included France’s Solairedirect SA, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. and the clean-energy unit of India’s Hero Group, according to bidding results.

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