Wind park in India. Featured Image: Regien Paassen/Shutterstock.com
India's Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on Friday published draft guidelines for wind power auctions and said it is seeking comments and suggestions on the proposed rules by April 21.
Currently, distribution utilities are buying wind power at a feed-in tariff (FiT) set by the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). The guidelines are designed to provide a framework for a competitive bidding process to reduce costs and are intended for grid-connected projects of above 5 MW. The draft rules envision parties bidding for at least 25 MW of projects, with at least 5 MW located at one site and power purchase agreements (PPAs) of at least 25 years.
India has a target of 175 GW of renewable power capacity by 2022, including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind. According to the document, it now has almost 32 GW of wind capacity. The ministry said that FiTs coupled with different incentives by the central and state governments have seen the sector grow a lot since 2002 and added that the introduction of competition is needed to achieve cost reduction.
The guidelines are being unveiled days after Solar Energy Corp of India Ltd (SECI) published the results of India's first national wind power auction. Five projects totalling 1,049.9 MW of capacity were awarded at a record-low tariff.
Earlier this month, MNRE said that the country added over 5,400 MW of wind in the fiscal year to the end of March, 2017, up from 3,423 MW in the previous year. The top three states were Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka with 2,190 MW, 1,275 MW and 882 MW, respectively. Most of India's wind power potential is concentrated in eight states, which also include Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.