The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has sought comments and feedback before November 28 on its concept note for development of wind and wind-solar hybrid parks in the country. The concept note aims to address a key issue faced by renewable energy projects, in particular wind energy projects, in recent months.
While its competitive bidding process has resulted in competitive tariffs which are much lower than traditional Feed-in Tariffs, 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.
The solar power project is commissioned on contiguous land, while the wind power project requires scattered land on footprint basis which not only increases the transmission cost but also increases the possibility of land-related issues. In order to overcome these challenges and to speed up the installation of wind power projects, the scheme — Development of Wind Parks/Wind-Solar Hybrid Park — with proper infrastructure including evacuation facilities in place has been proposed.
‘Plug and play solution’
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, it said. The probable sites for the parks have been identified with the help of National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) on the basis of availability of mainly wind resource and suitability of land for such projects.
If the site is found to be suitable, the park developer may consider developing a wind-solar hybrid park. The identified sites would be circulated to concerned state governments for their approval. The State government would designate park developer who would undertake the development of park including DPR preparation, land, transmission infrastructure, etc.
Sites have been identified across seven states — Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh — and the Concept Note has identified potential to install projects for a capacity of 53,495 MW (5 MW per sq km). The capacity of each park should be 500 MW and more. However, parks of lower capacity may also be developed depending upon the availability of land and resource.
In any case, the capacity of each park shall not be less than 50 MW. Park developers may also be allowed to pool small investor into the single park. MNRE will provide financial assistance of ₹25 lakh per park to the developer for DPR preparation and ₹30 lakh per MW or 30 per cent of the park development cost to park developer, whichever is lower.