A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up a Joint Venture Company ( JVC) towards undertaking the First Demonstration Offshore Wind Power Project in India along the Gujarat coast has been signed in the presence of Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (I/C), Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy.
The MoU was signed by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), and Consortium of partners consisting of 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).
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal described it as a great opportunity in the development of renewable energy resources in the country. He pointed out that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s message in the US was loud and clear that renewable energy is the way to go, it dovetails world’s concerns about climate change and it clearly enhances India’s energy security. Considering the country’s 7600 km long coastal line , Shri Goyal stated that opportunities for scaling up are humongous. The Minister also suggested for building partnership with Defence , Coast guard and Shipping to ensure seamless and time bound approval process.
The Joint Venture Company will undertake detailed feasibility study based on the inputs received from pre-feasibility studies and necessary steps for implementation of the first offshore demonstration wind power project.
The first planned demonstration offshore wind power project along the Gujarat coast will be of about 100 MW capacity. It has been proposed to provide subsidy for setting up of evacuation and transmission infrastructure of the offshore wind power to the main land including financial support for carrying out studies such as wind resource assessment, Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), oceanographic survey and Bathymetric studies. Ministry would also assist in obtaining clearances involved during the implementation of the project.
This being a first demonstration offshore wind project in the country, will certainly provide enough learning to move into this sector by taking up similar viable projects in future, enabling India to enter in the club of countries who are in the business of offshore wind power generation.
Wind power development onshore has reached to commercial stage in India and is fastest growing renewable energy option today. India also has around 7600 KM of coastline which offers great potential for Off-shore wind power development. Having more than 22 GW installed onshore wind power capacity in the country, Ministry has taken initiative towards offshore wind power development which includes announcement of Draft National Offshore Wind Energy Policy and preparation of Draft Cabinet note on National Offshore Wind Energy Policy which has been circulated for inter-ministerial comments.
Finalization of the proposed National Offshore Wind Energy Policy will provide a conducive environment for harnessing offshore wind energy including setting up of a demonstration offshore wind power project to show case technology and build investors’ confidence.
In early 90s, Ministry had taken up onshore demonstration projects in various states. A total of 71 MW of demonstration projects in 7 states have leveraged a wind power capacity of around 22,000 MW with private sector investment. Therefore, Ministry decided to go for a demonstration offshore wind power project to showcase the possibility and viability of off-shore wind power in the country. Some sites were identified along the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu coast which have good wind power potential for development of offshore projects. Since, GPCL has shown interest, it was decided to plan the first offshore wind power project along the coast of Gujarat.
Press release, October 01, 2014; Image: Vattenfall (Illustration)