New Delhi, Oct 6: Government will float tenders early next year to lease out sea blocks to companies for setting up wind farm projects along the 7,600-km coastline. ”Tenders will be floated in three months time to invite companies for setting up of offshore wind farms,” New and Renewable Energy Secretary Upendra Tripathy said on the sidelines of a conference.
On blocks to be offered in the first round of the bidding, Tripathy said, “The number of offshore blocks will depend on clearance from Defence Ministry and others.”About the consideration for the bidding, he said, “It will be tariff based bidding. The companies quoting lower tariff of electricity will be considered.”
The government is in the process finalising the tenders, he said. The Cabinet had last month approved the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy for harnessing this clean source of energy by setting up wind mills in sea as well as research and development activities.
According to policy, the offer of blocks will be made through an open International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process.The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) will enter into contract with successful bidder and collect lease fee from them during survey, construction and operations.
NIWE would reserve rights to refuse participation of an entity in ICB on grounds of national security without giving specific details.The lease will be limited to exploration of wind energy in the allocated blocks. The lease and area will stand automatically relinquished, if the contractor is unable to start commercial production within a specific time period from the date of signing the contract.
The policy says that the existing lease holders of seabed for other purposes such as oil and gas exploration and exploitation, seabed mining, interested in installation of offshore wind farm on their existing lease would have to route their proposal through NIWE.
According to a preliminary assessment, there is a potential of around 1 GW capacity wind farm each along the coastline of Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. ”We have assessed the capacity of offshore wind power. There is a potential of generating 1,06,000 MW power through offshore wind source on Gujarat’s coastline alone and (it is)… 60,000 MW on Tamil Nadu’s coastline,” Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal had said after the Cabinet nod.