The auction was held under the domestic content requirement (DCR) category, where the winning developer has to mandatorily source solar panels and modules from local manufacturers. It had to be cancelled because it would have fallen foul of WTO norms, sources close to the development said.
Ministry of new and renewable energy secretary Anand Kumar confirmed that the auction had been annulled. “We will do the tender again,” he said. “Maybe this time the winning tariff will be even lower.” NTPC did not comment on the matter.
The auction had to be cancelled because the tender documents had mentioned that the power was to be sold to New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). “This would have violated WTO rules,” said a source close to the development. “India could have been fined heavily, if the government had not noticed, and directed NTPC to revoke it. But the auction can still be held under the ‘developer’s mode’.”