The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R K Singh, held a meeting on Thursday (10 June) on planning transmission facilities for offshore wind energy projects in India.
During the meeting, transmission and evacuation infrastructure required for offshore wind projects of a total capacity of 10 GW off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu was discussed.
A presentation on this was made to the Minister by the Central Transmission Utility (CTU). After a detailed review, it was decided to bid out offshore wind energy blocks as per the following trajectory: bids equivalent to a project capacity of 4 GW per year for three years starting with the current FY 22-23 for development off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat for sale of power through open access/captive/bi-lateral third party sale/merchant sale; subsequently a project capacity of 5 GW will be bid out every year for five years, i.e. up till FY 29-30.
“The project capacity of 8 GW bid out in the first two years beginning FY 22-23 will also be able to avail of the benefits of green attributes like carbon credits,” the Ministry of Power said.
“The bidding for the first 12 GW will be conducted on a single stage two envelope model wherein the bidders will be evaluated based on their techno-commercial capabilities and only the technically qualified bidders will proceed to financial evaluation,” it added.
The financial evaluation for offshore wind energy projects will be based on quoted lease fees per sq km of sea bed area. The bidder offering the highest lease fee per sq km of sea bed area would be declared the winner for the project’s allocation.
In another incentive, evacuation and transmission of power from offshore pooling Substation (PSS) to onshore transmission will be provided free of cost for all offshore wind capacities that will be bid out up to FY 29-30.
It is expected that the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, through its implementing agency, will issue the first bid in the next three to four months for leasing out offshore wind energy blocks equivalent to 4 GW capacity off the coast of Tamil Nadu.
Govt’s policy push
The centre notified the ‘National Offshore Wind Energy Policy’ in 2015, providing the basic framework for developing the offshore wind sector.
Post notification of the policy, the union government, through the National Institute of Wind Energy, has issued ‘Guidelines for Offshore Wind Power Assessment Studies and Surveys’ to enable private investors to carry out offshore wind resource assessments.
Further, the Government is carrying out offshore wind resource assessments and related studies through the National Institute of Wind Energy to validate the offshore wind resource potential in identified locations off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Also, the Ministry has formulated a committee to finalise a roadmap for offshore wind development in the country, including upcoming offshore projects.
And to increase access to funding, the Government has permitted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for renewable energy projects, including offshore wind energy projects.
India’s international engagement
In 2019, a strategic sector cooperation agreement in the field of renewable energy with a focus on offshore wind energy was signed between India and the Kingdom of Denmark.
The main objectives of the cooperation agreement are technical capacity building for management of offshore wind projects; measures to develop and sustain a highly efficient wind industry, onshore as well as offshore; efforts to ensure high quality of wind turbines, components, and certification requirements; and forecasting and scheduling of offshore wind.