The government has invited expression of interest for the country’s first offshore wind energy project, in line with its aim of having 5 GW such capacities by 2022.
The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), an autonomous body under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has called for Expression of Interest’ (EoI) for the first offshore wind energy project of India, an MNRE statement said.
The global EoI is intended to shortlist prospective offshore wind energy developers for a 1,000 MW (1 GW) offshore wind energy project in Gulf of Khambat, off the coast of Gujarat. The proposed area is located 23-40 km seaward side from Pipavav port.
MNRE plans to install at least 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2022. As per the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy notified on October 2015, National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai is the nodal agency to carry out the necessary studies/surveys before final bidding and act as a single window for facilitating necessary clearances required for the development of offshore wind projects in India.
The first offshore LiDAR (a sensor) was installed in Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat for measurement of wind resource and NIWE is collecting wind speed data from November 2017 onwards. Areas off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are two identified areas for development of offshore wind power.
The second LiDAR would be installed off Tamil Nadu coast by September 2018. In addition, NIWE is planning to set up few more LiDARs for assessment of offshore wind resources.
At the global level, it has been observed that offshore wind energy, while being better than onshore wind in terms of efficiency, is also becoming competitive and comparable in terms of tariffs.
With a large energy market in India, the EoI is expected to evince keen interest from leading players of offshore wind turbine manufacturers and developers. Indian industry can also participate along with suitable tie-up with global players.
With the announcement of this first offshore wind energy project, the government is attempting to develop this sector in India and envisages to replicate similar success as on-shore wind power sector. This would help the country towards attaining energy security and achievement of National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) targets, it added.