India to encourage wind-solar hybrids

INDIA: Government bodies have unveiled plans to encourage the deployment of wind-solar hybrid projects, according to a newly published policy document.

Hero Future Energies added a 28.8MW solar project to its 50MW wind site in Karnataka
Hero Future Energies added a 28.8MW solar project to its 50MW wind site in Karnataka

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has pledged to encourage development through different schemes and programmes and offer financial incentives to wind-solar hybrid projects.

It published the first national wind and solar hybrid policy, creating a framework for projects that use transmission infrastructure and land more efficiently, reduce variability and achieve better grid stability.

A scheme for new hybrid projects underpinning the policy is expected shortly, the government’s Press Information Bureau stated.

The MNRE policy states the two technologies may be complementary in "large areas" of the country, and could be utilised alongside one another to help minimise variability by "optimising infrastructure" and achieving "better grid stability".

Hybrid projects could be completed by building entirely new sites, furnishing existing wind projects with solar and vice-versa, or adding battery storage, the policy states.

Under the policy, existing projects could be ‘hybridised with higher transmission capacity than that already sanctioned.

The policy adds: "A wind-solar plant will be recognised as (a) hybrid plant if the rated capacity of one resource is at least 25% of the rated power capacity of (the) other resource."

It does not commit to any targets for hybrid deployment, nor does it confirm any specific tenders or other allocation procedures for projects.

However, the policy does state: "Government entities may invite bids for hybridisation of existing wind and solar plants with tariff being the main criteria for selection."

It adds: "The government will encourage development (of) wind-solar hybrid systems through different schemes and programmes. All fiscal and financial incentives available to wind and solar power projects will also be made available to hybrid projects."

Last month, Hero Future Energies commissioned the country’s first large-scale solar and wind hybrid project. The project added 28.8MW of solar PV capacity to a pre-existing 50MW wind farm at Kavital in Karnataka.

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