Govt floats tender for 2,000 MW wind power projects
To achieve the target of having 60 gigawatt (GW) of installed wind energy capacity by 2022, the government has invited tenders for 2,000 MW of wind power projects connected to the inter-state transmission system. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) would sign 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the winning bidders and sell the power to electricity distribution utilities (discoms). The ceiling tariff has been set at Rs 2.93 per unit. A company can bid for a minimum capacity of 50 MW and a maximum capacity of 300 MW. Acquiring land, permissions and other infrastructure to connect the upcoming wind projects to the electricity grid would be the responsibility of the developer.
Power and renewable energy minister RK Singh had in November announced the break up of his action plan for completing 28 GW of wind auctions by FY20, leaving a margin of two years to complete the projects by 2022. According to that agenda, another 1.5-2 GW of wind tenders can be expected in the ongoing fiscal. The present wind power installed capacity in the country is nearly 32.5 GW, comprising around 9% of total power generation capacity. Globally, India is at fourth position in terms of wind power installed capacity after China, the US and Germany. Capacity addition of wind energy had ebbed in the first half of FY18 with only 421 MW added in the period after the record 5.5 GW addition in FY17.
The ministry of new and renewable energy introduced the competitive bidding system for wind power procurement in February 2017, marking a shift from the feed-in tariff (FiT) regime. The reverse auction mechanism helped SECI discover an unprecedented low price of Rs 2.64 per unit. Later, Gujarat recorded wind power tariffs of as low as Rs 2.43/unit in December 2017, nearly half the average Rs 4.5/unit wind tariff under FiT.