Gujarat to host India’s first offshore wind power project

Project to be executed by a consortium of public sector agencies meant to showcase technology and boost investors’ confidence

By Kanchan Kumar Agrawal
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The UK currently leads in offshore wind power with installations of 4.2 GW ( Photo courtesy UNEP)

India’s first offshore wind power project is to be set up in Gujarat. An MOU for setting up a joint venture company (JVC) for executing the demonstration project has been signed by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and a consortium of public sector agencies.

The consortium comprises the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Power Trading Corporation (PTC), and Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GPCL).

The project will be of about 100 MW capacity. The JVC will undertake detailed feasibility study based on the inputs received from pre-feasibility studies and necessary steps for  implementing the project.

Subsidy component

The government has proposed a subsidy for setting up of evacuation and transmission infrastructure of the offshore wind power to the main land, which includes financial support for carrying out studies such as wind resource assessment, environment impact assessment (EIA), oceanographic survey and Bathymetric studies.

MNRE would also assist in obtaining clearances involved during the implementation of the project. The ministry also suggested building partnership with the Ministry of Defence, the Coast Guard and the shipping ministry to ensure seamless and time-bound approval process.

The project is expected to provide lessons for future rapid growth of off-shore wind power. India has around 7,600 km of coastline which offers great potential for offshore wind power development.

National policy on anvil

MNRE is pushing offshore wind power development a great deal. It has announced a draft offshore wind energy policy and preparation of a draft Cabinet note on it has been circulated for inter-ministerial comments. Finalisation of the proposed policy and the demonstration project, together, are expected to showcase technology and build investors’ confidence.

Global installed capacity of offshore wind projects
Country Capacity
UK 4.2
Denmark 1.2
Denmark 0.7
Germany 0.6
China 0.4
Netherlands 0.2
Sweden 0.2
In the early 1990s, MNRE had taken up onshore demonstration projects in various states. A total of 71 MW of demonstration projects in seven states had had attracted interest and has led to deployment of about 22,000 MW of on-shore wind with private sector investment. Going by the success of demonstration on-shore wind power project, MNRE has decided to go for a demonstration offshore wind power project. Some sites were identified along the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu coast which have good wind power potential. Since GPCL had shown interest, Gujarat was chosen as the demonstration venue.

Worldwide, offshore wind power projects totalling 7.5 GW capacity have been installed. UK is leading with installations of 4.2 GW (see table).

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  • Better late than never. I

    Better late than never.
    I have had been advocating starting Offshore Wind farms in India since 1974.

    Though India occupies 5th position in Wind in the world,it has no offshore wind farms. In fact way back in 1994 itself I suggested Offshore Wind Farms(Refer my Letter to the Editor,THE HINDU).

    Today there is much interest in offshore windfarms in Europe with UK leading. US,France,Taiwan,China etc. have ambitious plans to go in for offshore Wind Farms.

    Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind farms in bodies of water to generate electricity from wind. Better wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore wind powerÔÇÖs contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher.
    Power P = 0.5 p A V3 .. ..
    Where P = Power, p density of air,V=speed of the wind and A is the area of the intercepted airstream (equal to the ÔÇÿsweptÔÇÖ by the (1) rotor).
    In standard conditions (sea level, temperature 15 degrees Celsius) the density of the air is 1.225 kg/m3. So the amount of Power intercepted by each square rotor is:
    P=0.612 V3 Watts  (2)
    For Example, if the wind speed is 6 m/s (a moderate breeze) the power intercepted per square meter is 0.612 X 63 = 132 W; but if the speed rises to 24 m/s (a severe gale) the power becomes 0.612 X 243 = 8460 W. This massive increase is due to cubic relationship between wind speed and power by equation (2). Here the wordÔÇÖ interceptedÔÇÖ rather than ÔÇÿcapturedÔÇÖ is used because the above figures relate to the power in the wind, not the amount actually extracted by a turbine rotor. Large modern turbines typically capture up of about 50% of the wind power presented to them.
    Betz's law is a theory about the maximum possible energy to be derived from a wind turbine developed in 1919 by the German physicist Albert Betz. According to Betz's law, no turbine can capture more than 59.3 percent of the kinetic energy in wind. The ideal or maximum theoretical efficiency n max (also called power coefficient) of a wind turbine is the ratio of maximum power obtained from the wind to the total power available in the wind. The factor 0.593 is known as Betz's coefficient. It is the maximum fraction of the power in a wind stream that can be extracted.

    Economics and benefits
    Offshore wind power can help to reduce energy imports, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases (by displacing fossil-fuel power generation), meet renewable electricity standards, and create jobs and local business opportunities.

    Investment of about $1.5 million per MW
    Levelized cost of 6-7 cents per kWh
    O&M ÔÇô 1-3% of capital costs
    May be built in smaller units
    Investment of $2.3 million per MW
    Levelized cost of about 10-11 cents per kWh
    Higher O&M ÔÇô 40$ per kW and 0.7 cents per kWh variable
    Large turbines and farms required
    In spite of the higher costs and the uncertainties involved in offshore wind, research in this sector has been significant, and the main reason is the potential offered by offshore wind turbines, especially in lands close to water
    At the end of 2011, there were 53 European offshore wind farms in waters off Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, with an operating capacity of 3,813 MW, while 5,603 MW is under construction .
    Despite economic and political uncertainties, weakening investments, grid connection issues and a dip in the U.S. onshore wind energy market, offshore wind around the world continues its momentum. The European Wind Energy Assn. (EWEA, Brussels, Belgium) says 132 offshore wind turbines in 13 wind farms (523.2 MW of capacity) came online in the first six months of 2012 ÔÇö an increase of 50 percent from the same period in 2011. EWEA also reports that as of June 2012, 4.3 GW of offshore turbines had been installed off the European coast, and conservative estimates are that the total could grow to 25 GW by 2020. In Japan a huge new 1-GW offshore wind farm ÔÇö the worldÔÇÖs largest to date ÔÇö was announced in January to replace the nuclear power capacity lost in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Although the U.K. (the worldÔÇÖs leader in installed offshore units), Germany, Belgium, France and Italy lead the offshore surge, ChinaÔÇÖs offshore wind industry is reportedly poised for huge growth. Moreover, Morocco and Tunisia have active developments, and in 2014, Egypt will begin work on a 200-MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez. In fact, the offshore wind analysts at 4C Offshore (Suffolk, U.K.) are tracking 1,301 offshore wind projects in 38 countries with a total nameplate power capacity of 3.6 GW
    Wind power is the most established technology in the world. Per MW costs around Rs 6 Crores(as compared to 17.5 Crores Canal top Solar Plant. The generation of power 16 Lakh Units per year by this canal top solar which is far below wind power generation per MW.
    The main advantages of power generation from wind energy are:
    1. The capital cost is comparable with conventional power plants. For a wind farm, the capital cost ranges between 4.5 crores to 6.85 crores per MW, depending up on the type of turbine, technology, size and location.
    2. Construction time is less.
    3. Fuel cost is zero.
    4. O & M cost is very low.
    5. Capacity addition can be in modular form.
    6. There is no adverse effect on global environment. The whole system is pollution free and environment friendly.
    We cannot be always imitators in Renewable Energy and we should also be Innovators
    At greater heights there is vast scope to harness Wind Energy in India including AP:
    Estimation of installed Wind Power Potential at
    50 meter and 80 Meter hub-height.
    States / UTs Estimated potential (MW)
    @ 50 m ($) @ 80 m (* #$)
    Andaman & Nicobar 2 365
    Andhra Pradesh 5394 14497
    Arunachal Pradesh* 201 236
    Assam* 53 112
    Bihar - 144
    Chhattisgarh* 23 314
    Dieu Damn - 4
    Gujarat 10609 35071
    Haryana - 93
    Himachal Pradesh * 20 64
    Jharkhand - 91
    Jammu & Kashmir * 5311 5685
    Karnataka 8591 13593
    Kerala 790 837
    Lakshadweep 16 16
    Madhya Pradesh 920 2931
    Maharashtra 5439 5961
    Manipur* 7 56
    Meghalaya * 44 82
    Nagaland * 3 16
    Orissa 910 1384
    Pondicherry - 120
    Rajasthan 5005 5050
    Sikkim * 98 98
    Tamil Nadu 5374 14152
    Uttarakhand * 161 534
    Uttar Pradesh * 137 1260
    West Bengal* 22 22
    Total 49,130 1,02,788
    * Wind potential has yet to be validated with actual measurements.
    # Estimation is based on meso scale modelling (Indian Wind Atlas).
    $ As actual land assessment is not done on a conservative consideration 2 % land availability for all states except Himalayan & North eastern states, Andaman Nicobar Islands and Poor windy states has been assumed. In other area 0.5% land availability has been assumed.
    Source: C-WET
    Also Wind Farm co-operatives can be started in India on the lines of those in Denmark,Germany etc. Hitherto financial benefits are given to big industrialists who establish wind farms. A RENEWABLE ENERGY FUND can be created by Union Government and investment in this under Section 80C to get tax exemption will help to create huge funds.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Denmark helped gujarat to setup wind farms

    Posted by: D | 3 years ago | Reply