In a bid to optimally utilise the wind energy resources in the country and provide a new lease of life to existing wind power projects, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under union minister Piyush Goyal has announced a new policy for “Re-powering Wind Power Projects.”
Even as India, with an installed wind power capacity of 27,000 mw, is the world’s fourth largest wind power producers after China, USA and Germany, most of the wind-turbines installed up to the year 2000 are of capacity below 500 kW and are at sites having high wind energy potential. (It is estimated that over 3000 MW capacity installation are from wind turbines of around 500 kW or below.)
According to MNRE, initially wind turbine generators of capacity 1 MW and below would be eligible for repowering under the policy. Based on the experience, MNRE can extend the repowering policy to other projects also.
For repowering projects Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will provide an additional interest rate rebate of 0.25% over and above the interest rate rebates available to the new wind projects being financed by IREDA.
The aim of this Repowering Policy is to promote optimum utilisation of wind energy resources by creating facilitative framework for repowering, MNRE said in a statement. All fiscal and financial benefits available to the new wind projects will also be available to the repowering project as per applicable conditions.
Stating that the repowering projects would be implemented through the respective State Nodal Agency/Organisation involved in promotion of wind energy in the State, MNRE added The Repowering Policy would be reviewed by the Government as and when required.
While announcing the policy, MNRE listed out the support that will have to be provided by states. It said that in case augmentation of transmission system from pooling station onwards is required the same will be carried out by the respective State Transmission Utility (STU).
Further, in case of power being procured by state Discoms through power purchasing agreements (PPAs), the power generated corresponding to average of last three years’ generation prior to repowering would continue to be procured on the terms of PPA in-force.
“The remaining additional generation would either be purchased by Discoms at Feed-in-Tariff applicable in the State at the time of commissioning of the repowering project and/or allowed for third party sale,” it added.
State will be required to facilitate acquiring additional footprint required for higher capacity turbines. For placing of wind turbines 7D x 5D criteria would be relaxed for micro siting.
A wind farm/turbine undergoing repowering would be exempted from not honouring the PPA for the non-availability of generation from wind farm/turbine during the period of execution of repowering.
Similarly, in case of repowering by captive user they will be allowed to purchase power from grid during the period of execution of repowering, on payment of charges as determined by the regulator.
On the financial outlay, MNRE said that no additional financial liability would be met by the MNRE for implementing the Repowering Policy.
MNRE said the repowering projects may avail Accelerated Depreciation benefit or GBI as per the conditions applicable to new wind power projects.
Currently, Writing a Book for Penguin India Titled Greased Pole:How Politics and Lobbying Stifled India’s Energy Dreams. The author can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org (9810661825)
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