Tougher regulations

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As part of its ongoing efforts to streamline regulation of the wind power sector, the Ministry for Non Conventional Energy sources (MNES) has this year issued revised guidelines to State Electricity Boards (SEBs), financial institutions including the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and the various state "nodal" agencies. MNES has also taken on the job accrediting wind turbine manufacturers, reducing the list from 24 to 12. These manufacturers have obtained type approval for their products from international test stations. The list is to be updated on a quarterly basis. The guidelines state categorically: "No Objection Certificates should not be treated as a mere formality." They also stress that SEBs and nodal agencies should announce their plans for capacity additions twice a year, in the first week of April and in October. SEBs are informed not to issue commissioning certificates unless the system is connected to the grid. The SEBs will also now need to ensure that spare parts for at least two years have been provided at the time of commissioning. The MNES guidelines have suggested that a penalty could be imposed by the SEBs if any project fails to achieve a monthly average power factor of at least 0.85 at the metering point. It is believed that most states have agreed to comply. The guidelines make it clear that second-hand wind turbines are not acceptable. Even the state of Gujarat, which earlier had allowed the erection of used wind turbines imported mainly from the US, is no longer accepting fresh orders of such machines.

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