Offshore Wind pilot projects in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat:Deepak Gupta-Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

As readers of Panchabuta might be aware, we had pondered about offshore wind in India in the middle of last year (Offshore wind farm in India…when?), when the US under the Obama Administration had announced the approval for the first offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts after a lot of opposition and legal challenges.

In november, Deepak Gupta, secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy, had announced that a study is being undertaken with the help of Chennai-based Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) to ascertain the feasibility of setting up wind farms in India’s offshore areas.

Further one has to wonder how the approvals for such a project would be in India and given that the wind turbines would be located in the sea.  The cost of offshore wind farms are typically 2-2.5 times the traditional wind farms and face challenges in terms of technology, implementation as well as environment.

Given all these challenges, Panchabuta had in November wondered  if MNRE in India has plans to set up at least a few demonstration project and a small target  for offshore wind in the twelfth plan period like that planned for solar in the JNNSM in this plan period given the immense potential that India has given the long coastal line. However, with the intial feasibility study itself expected to take 2-3 years this seems reasonably unlikely at this time.

Gujarat, had once again taken the lead and had announced  that Tata Power had submitted a proposal for India’s first offshore Wind farm in Gujarat end of November.

Suzlon has been pushing for offshore wind farms as its subsidiary REpower has a dominant position in the supply of offshore wind turbines. It would be pertinent to note that REpower had signed a contract for a  295 MW offshore wind farm project with C-Power for Thornton Bank  project-biggest ever offshore wind project financing of EUR 900 million.

Further, as Panchabuta understands Siemens has big plans to enter the highly competitive wind market in India and sources tell us that they may focus more on the offshore wind market in India.

According to reports in the media this week, the Indian government may enlist the help of Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the state-run explorer, in surveying offshore wind-power potential and setting up the nation’s first two wind farms at sea.

“We’re thinking of two pilot projects in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat states,” Deepak Gupta, secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said in an interview on the sidelines of a wind conference in New Delhi, according to the report, a suggestion that Panchabuta had mooted in November last year.


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