MNRE Seeks Feedback On Roadmap For Wind-Solar Hybrids

On November 13, the MNRE uploaded a concept note for hybrid wind-solar energy projects on its site, with a request for feedback and comments by November 28.

Using sites identified with the help of the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), the concept note seeks to address a key issue/s that have come up with wind energy projects in recent months. A number of projects have been delayed due to land, NoCs and transmission related issues. These challenges and uncertainties have raised the concerns of investors in the sector, drying up financing in some cases. While solar power project is commissioned on contiguous land, wind power projects require scattered land on footprint basis which not only increases the transmission cost but also increase the possibility of risks from land related issues.

In order to overcome these challenges and to speed up the installation of wind power projects, the scheme for “Development of Wind Parks/ Wind-Solar Hybrid Park” is proposed. The park is visualised as a “concentrated zone of development of Wind/ Wind-SolarHybrid power projects and will provide an area that is well characterized, with proper infrastructure including evacuation facilities in place and where the risk of the projects can be minimized. Wind Energy Park will provide a plug and play solution (availability of land, transmission, necessary infrastructure and necessary approvals) to the investors for installing wind/ wind-solar power projects.”, the report adds.

The note highlights how it has only considered sites after careful consideration of factors, like only Wind Potential area with more than 30% CUF at 120 m hub height. Areas unsuitable for wind farm development such as protected areas, airports, etc have been excluded along with land area with elevation more than 1500m and slope more than 20 degree (except roads, railway lines and rivers). Areas with existing installed wind turbines have also been excluded.

The note goes on to identify a list of sites for developers to consider, based on the criteria above.

Wind Solar Hybrid Sites in India

Tentative List of High Performance Sites In India

The ministry has also taken care to provide the park developer with a broad range of powers and obligations to manage the project. Any implementing agency of the state government, central government agency, joint venture or special purpose vehicle (SPV), or a private developer can be the park developers.

The park developer will be responsible for developing the detailed project report (DPR), acquire land for the project, obtain statutory and non-statutory clearances, and obtain permission from the central transmission utility (CTU) or state transmission utility (STU).

To align state government incentives with the project, a key issue and reason behind delays, a special fee of 5 paise per KW for the project home state in case of energy exports to areas outside the state has also been proposed. At a minimum project size of 500MW (proposed) the MNRE also hopes that the state government will support developers in getting land acquisition done. Readers might recall the absolute mess in states with high quality sites like Gujarat, where projects are still in limbo precisely due to these issues.

Central financial assistance at the rate of ₹25 lakhs/park has been proposed for the park developer for DPR preparation and CFA at the rate of ₹20 lakhs or 30% of the park development cost, whichever is lower.

Feedback is to be sent to [email protected]

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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