India encourages private involvement in offshore wind

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has released draft lease rules aimed at supporting private sector participation in offshore wind mapping and project development.

A lidar was installed off Gujarat in late 2017 (pic: Suzlon)
A lidar was installed off Gujarat in late 2017 (pic: Suzlon)

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The current rules require a range of approvals including some sensitive information, which makes the process cumbersome.

The draft is open for comments and suggestions from stakeholders until 25 February 2019. Some of the major provisions suggested in the draft lease rules include:

• The lease location can be anywhere within 370km of the Indian coast and within its Exclusive Economic Zone
• Players awarded lease in identified areas will have exclusive rights to carry out geotechnical surveys for feasibility assessment
• Allocated lease areas will be 100-500km2
• Lease periods will be five years to carry out surveys, and 30 years for construction and operation. Lease renewals beyond this can be awarded at five-year increments

"These rules will lead to faster development of offshore wind sector as provisions have been provided where state and central governments can work in tandem to boost this sector.

"The rules have been made in such a way that there will be very little arbitration going forward. Everything has been clearly marked out," an MNRE official told local media. 

In April 2018, the MNRE’s National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) called for developers to express an interest in building a 1GW offshore wind project off the coast of Gujarat, northwest India.

The suggested site would be in a 400km2 zone originally proposed by the Global Wind Energy Council-led Fowind consortium 23-40km from the port of Pipavav in the south of the state.  

India has no offshore wind capacity currently. A wind measurement lidar was installed off Gujarat in 2017.

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