MNRE Revises Rule For Micrositing Of Onshore Wind Turbines

Highlights :

  • These micrositing techniques are developed to assist in repowering and intercropping.
  • It helps to reduce constraints with minimum distance within the available land with wind resources.
MNRE Revises Rule For Micrositing Of Onshore Wind Turbines MNRE Revises Rule For Micrositing Of Onshore Wind Turbines

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently issued an amendment to the guidelines for onshore wind project development, updating the 2016 framework to emphasize optimizing energy production through precise micrositing of wind turbine generators. This amendment enables developers and investors to strategically place turbines within available land, fostering repowering and intercropping initiatives without being bound by minimum distance requirements.

Since the introduction of the Wind Repowering Policy in 2016, India has witnessed significant advancements in wind turbine technology—from 225 kW capacity turbines to modern 3 MW models manufactured domestically. Despite these technological leaps, integrating wind power into the grid remains challenging due to its intermittent nature, necessitating stringent regulatory measures for grid compatibility.

These micrositing techniques are developed to assist in repowering and intercropping as the developers/investors reduce constraints with minimum distance within the available land with wind resources. Over the last 20 years and during this period wind turbine technology has evolved from less efficient turbines with a low capacity of 225 kW to more efficient turbines with a high capacity of 3 MW being manufactured in India. Wind being intermittent the large-scale deployment of wind power has posed challenges to grid integration. The regulatory authorities have tightened regulations for grid integration of wind turbines.

The recent guideline released by MNRE aims to compute the optimization of the wind turbine after running an appropriate wind flow model, and use of optimization tools i.e., through the use of liner and non-linear techniques. Its recent provision of micrositing aims to enhance the maximum output rather than strictly mandated principle, i.e., the minimum distance between the wind turbines. This assessment is to test the turbine safety, considering extreme wind flow, flow inclination, verticle wind shear, turbine, etc based on the terrain complexity.

Micrositing 

The new guidelines specify that turbines must be positioned at a distance of 5D (where D is the rotor diameter) when placed perpendicular to the wind direction from neighboring turbines. If adjacent turbines are of differing types, the guideline mandates using the larger rotor diameter for a separation distance calculated as 5D x 7D. Additionally, developers must ensure turbines are situated at least 500 meters away from residential clusters to mitigate noise and maintain a safe distance from railway tracks and infrastructure.

The earlier provision on micrositing was laid down in 2016 in which developer(s) were expected to maintain a distance of 2 x D (D-Rotor Diameter) distance perpendicular to the predominant wind direction. Additionally, the earlier provision for developing wind turbine 3 x D (distance) was expected to be maintained in the predominant wind direction from the boundary line of each adjoining land of other developers (s) with appropriate offset.

The government this year approved the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for offshore wind energy projects. Through funding of Rs 7,453 crore, this fund included an outlay of Rs 6,853 crore to install and commission 1 GW of offshore wind energy projects (500 MW each off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu). It also includes a grant of Rs 600 crore for the upgradation of two ports to meet logistics requirements for offshore wind energy projects. 

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