In a meeting on transmission planning for offshore wind energy projects in India, R.K Singh, Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, announced that bids would be issued for offshore wind energy blocks of 4 GW every year for three years. Starting financial year (FY) 2022-23, the bids will be released for projects to be developed in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
The power generated from these blocks of cumulative 12 GW capacity will be for sale through open access, captive, bilateral, third-party or merchant sale modes.
Subsequently, a project capacity of 5 GW will be auctioned every year for five years until FY 2029-30. This will bring the total capacity over eight years to 37 GW.
The first tender will be issued in the next three to four months for leasing offshore wind energy blocks equivalent to 4 GW capacity off the coast of Tamil Nadu.
The project capacity of 8 GW auctioned in the first two years beginning FY 2022-23 will also be able to avail of the benefits of green attributes like carbon credits.
The decision to bid out offshore wind energy blocks was taken at a meeting held by Minister of Power R K Singh with Alok Kumar, Secretary, Power, and Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, MNRE.
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. The Central Transmission Utility made a presentation on this at the meeting.
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 capability. Only the technically qualified bidders will proceed to financial evaluation.
The bidder offering the highest lease fee per sq km of seabed area would be declared the winner for the capacity allocation.
Evacuation and transmission of power from offshore pooling substations (PSS) to onshore transmission will be provided free of cost for all offshore wind capacities that will be auctioned up to FY 2029-30.
In 2020, MNRE informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy that India had an offshore wind energy potential of around 70 GW along the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The National Institute of Wind Energy had identified zones with the capacity of 36 GW off the coast of Gujarat and offshore wind energy blocks of 35 GW off the coast of Tamil Nadu.
India added 275 MW wind power capacity in the first quarter of 2022, a 30% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase compared to 212 MW installed in Q4 2021, bringing the cumulative wind installations in the country to 40.4 GW, according to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.