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
Published: 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
(GW)
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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