The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), an autonomous body formed under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for the development of country’s first offshore wind energy project.
The global EoI is intended to shortlist prospective offshore wind energy developers for a 1,000 MW offshore wind energy project in Gulf of Khambat, off the coast of Gujarat.
The proposed area is located 23-40 km seaward side from Pipavav port. The MNRE plans to install at least 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2022.
According to a media release issued by the government, “At global level, it has been observed that offshore wind energy while being better than onshore wind in terms of efficiency is also becoming competitive and comparable in terms of tariffs. With a large energy market in India, the EoI is expected to evince keen interest from leading players of offshore wind turbine manufacturers and developers. Indian industry can also participate along with suitable tie up with global players.”
With the announcement of this first offshore wind energy project, the government has attempted to develop this sector in India and envisages to replicate the success of onshore wind power sector in the country. This would help the country towards attaining energy security and achievement of National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) targets.
Areas off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are two identified areas for the development of offshore wind power.
According to government data, as of March 31, 2018, cumulative wind installations in India stood at approximately 34 GW.
The introduction of reverse auctions in India’s wind energy sector is proving to be a much-needed catalyst for growth. Earlier, only private developers were developing projects to sell power, but now states are actively tendering wind projects to meet renewable purchase obligations (RPO) and generate clean, green power. With the advent of reverse auctions, wind farms are now being developed in coordination with state governments and other implementing agencies.
In October 2017, Mercom had reported that the wind power tariff dropped below ₹3 (~$0.05)/kWh for the first time with the lowest winning bid of ₹2.64 (~$0.0413)/kWh.
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