After several delays, it seems the first offshore wind energy tender in India will soon see the day of light.
Recharge News has reported that the Indian government is planning to approve viable gap funding worth US$909 million to support the first offshore wind energy project in the country. There is an in-principle agreement over the funding and is now likely to be discussed by various ministries and finally approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The viability gap funding shall ensure that the project goes ahead at the tariff rate agreed with the buyers. The 1 gigawatt project is planned to be implemented off the coast of the west Indian state of Gujarat. Power distribution utilities in the state have reportedly agreed to buy energy generated from power plant at Rs 3.50/kWh (US¢5.11/kWh). The government funding would compensate the project developer for the difference between the financially viable tariff and the already agreed power purchase tariff.
Once the government approves the viability gap funding, little to no hurdles may remain in the path to the country’s first-ever offshore wind energy tender. Recharge News interviewed the project head of the First Offshore Wind Project of India (FOWPI), who expects the tender to be issued sometime in October this year.
The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and other agencies in India has taken several measures to lay the groundwork for the first project. Extensive wind resource surveys have been completed at the proposed sites off the coast of Gujarat, and additional surveys are planned in the near-future.
India has set very ambitious capacity addition targets in the offshore wind energy sector. The country plans to have an operational offshore wind energy capacity of 5 gigawatts by 2022 and increase it to 30 gigawatts by 2030.
Working towards this goal, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for setting up an offshore wind energy project in the country. The EoI drew responses from some of leading technology providers in the world. Respondents to the EoI included Sterlite Power Grid, Greenko, Mytrah Energy, Inox Wind, Suzlon Energy, and ReNew Power Ventures. Some of the well-known foreign participants included Orstead, Alfanar, Deep Water Structures, EON Climate & Renewable, Terraform Global, Macquarie Group, Shell, and Senvion.