India’s largest power generation company — NTPC Limited — has issued its first tender for a solar-wind hybrid power project. The tender is of a substantial capacity, and one of the three tenders that are currently open for bidding in the country.
NTPC Limited recently issued a tender calling upon developers to set up 60 megawatts of wind energy and 130 megawatts of solar power capacity at Kudgi in the state of Karnataka. NTPC has issued this tender after itself setting up small wind and solar power projects at the site for research and development.
The company has had a long history of issuing solar power projects, and has awarded hundreds, if not thousands, of megawatts of solar power projects under the national policy. It recently successfully auctioned 1.2 gigawatts of capacity in its first wind energy tender. It has now forayed into solar-wind hybrid tenders.
The logic for this move is quite clear. With the rapid increase in operational wind and solar power projects across the country, the intermittency in the grid has also increased. While several states in India have issued regulations that mandate large-scale wind and solar power project developers to forecast their power generation, the significant intermittency in the system remains. This threatens the transmission network, and this threat would only increase and more large-scale projects are commissions over the next few years.
The impact of intermittent solar and wind energy generation is known best to NTPC, which has to regulate generation from its thermal power plants as per the unpredictable changes in wind and solar power generation. With this in mind, NTPC set up a 2 megawatt wind energy project and 1.7 megawatt solar PV project at Kudgi. Positive results from this R&D effort seem to have led the company to launch this large tender.
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