February 4 (Renewables Now) - The Indian government has issued draft offshore wind energy lease rules for projects that will be developed within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), proposing areas to be allocated through international competitive bidding only.
The draft will be open for comments and suggestions by February 25, 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced. The suggested rules call for leasing areas for offshore wind development of 100 sq m-500 sq m (1,076 sq ft-5,382 sq ft), depending on the size of the project, and will be located up to 200 nautical miles off the coast of India.
Each lease within the exclusive economic zone will be initially valid for five years to carry out prospecting and 30 years to set up an offshore wind farm, with an option to be extended for five more years. Furthermore, the rule stipulates that all project development activities, including the assessment of offshore wind energy potential through related studies and surveys, to be undertaken only once the lease has been secured by a particular entity.
Last summer, India set a goal of adding 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. An expression of interest (EoI) for the country’s inaugural offshore wind park near Gujarat, issued last April, attracted 35 responses from both domestic and international companies and consortia.