Gujarat details land allocation policy to aid stranded projects

Gujarat's authorities have produced a new land policy in order to ease the logjam that is delaying nearly 2GW of federally-auctioned wind capacity from being built.

Nearly 2GW of federally-auctioned wind capacity is stuck without land allocation (pic: Sembcorp Industries Ltd)

The authorities have identified areas of high wind power potential in the Kutch region, that would be suitable for 30GW of installed wind capacity comprising a selection 1GW land parcels.

The state intends to allocate land for 20GW of federally-auctioned projects, with the remaining land reserved for state-tendered sites.

All future projects will have to be built within the identified areas, which will be allocated by a committee, chaired by the chief minister of the state.

According to the policy, the committee will consider aspects like financial strength, turnover in the renewable sector, net worth, production capacity, technical capability, manufacturing/investment base in the state.

However, developers of the federally-auctioned capacity awaiting land allocation had already selected potential sites in Gujarat for the projects submitted in the tender.

Being forced to change the location may make the projects unviable. 

The policy also makes it compulsory for the federal government agencies conducting tenders to consult the state before announcing new rounds. 

Speaking to local media, a state official said: "We have set out our policy and it is up to developers to decide if they want to come to us or not. SECI [the body that organises the federal auctions] did not consult us while auctioning wind projects. The developers’ problems are not ours."