November 11, 2016

Modi Government Issues Fresh Guidelines for Onshore Wind Power Projects in India; Industry Asks for More

The revision of guidelines comes on the back of the government's ambitious target of installing 60 Gigawatt of wind energy in the country by 2022. At present, India has 28.1 GW of installed wind power capacity across the country.

In a significant boost for India's clean energy growth, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has finally issued fresh guidelines for onshore wind power projects after a gap of two decades. The new set of rules promises to spur the growth of wind power capacity by addressing all the major issues.

The Modi government is working on a target to add 175 Gigawatt of renewable power generation capacity including 60 GW of wind energy in the country by 2022. At present, India has 28.1 GW of installed wind power capacity across the country.

"The new guidelines are a step in the right direction mainly because they promotes wind-solar hybrid, repowering and storage," said DV Giri, Director general at IWTMA

He however added "The government should insure the new policy makes inter state transactions free of restrictions".

The current rate of deployment of wind power capacity is to be more than doubled, and it has revised its guidelines to address issues and delays, MNRE said.

The new document address all the major issues including land use permission, availability of wind resource, grid connectivity, transport logistics, environmental acceptability, micrositing, health and safety, hybridization, repowering and decommission plan.

"Land allotment by the state government for the wind power project, a maximum period of four years may be allowed for development and start of commissioning of the project and in case of a a delay the land allotment may be canceled," the guidelines stated.

The document added that project developer should ensure that grid connectivity is technically and commercially feasible at the site selected.

The guidelines also stated that any proposal to establish wind power project should necessarily include a decommissioning plan of the wind turbine after completion of their useful life.

The document stressed on the importance of availability of necessary clearances from authorities concerned in case the sites being selected for wind power project (WPP) falls under forest land, habitat of migratory birds and their flight routes, civil aviation, defence and heritage establishments.

The document added that the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) will prescribe criteria for noise and shadow flicker in consultation with stakeholders to ensure health and safety of people working or residing near the wind power installations.

According to MNRE feels the need for new guidelines were because of advancement in the wind turbine technology, requirement to comply with various standards and regulations issued by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and other regulatory bodies, to address issues related to micrositing, decommissioning, health and safety.

Over the past 2 decades, the wind turbine technology in India has evolved from less efficient turbines with low capacity of 225 KW to more efficient turbines with high capacity of 3 mega watt being manufactured in India, the ministry document added.

India has the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

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