Friday, 9 October 2015

OCEAN OF OPPORTUNITY: INDIA'S BOOST TO OFFSHORE WIND FARMS





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BACKGROUND

Preliminary assessments along the coastline indicated prospects for offshore wind power. Wind data collected for the coastline in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat coast shows huge potential. India has also achieved significant success in the onshore wind power development with about 24GW already installed and generating power.

INSTALLATION OF WIND-FARM STRUCTURES

According to territorial and international laws, wind-farm structures can be built in the following areas: (i) Indian Territorial Waters i.e. a stretch of 12 (Twelve) nautical miles (nm) from baseline; and (ii) Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) i.e. beyond 12 (Twelve) nm but up-to 200nm.  

NODAL AGENCY

National Institute of Wind Energy ("NIWE") will function as nodal agency for off-shore wind farm development and perform activities like call for proposals, allocation of wind blocks, contract execution with wind farm developers, facilitation for obtaining licenses/NOCs etc.

FACILITIES TO DEVELOPERS

1. Port facilities for heavy construction, fabrication, O&M activities by major ports/maritime boards in exchange of specified fees;

2. On-shore evacuation and grid connectivity by respective state/central transmission utilities.   

SCOPE FOR PRIVATE STUDY AND SURVEY

Although preliminary wind resource assessment, oceanography, bathymetric survey will be carried out by NIWE, private developers, on a case to case basis, will be permitted to conduct survey and have shared ownership of data. Please note that permission for private survey may be refused by NIWE for security concerns. Also, all data collected through private survey need to be shared with NIWE.

CLEARANCES/NO-OBJECTION-CERTIFICATES

Studies, surveys, construction in offshore zone cannot be commenced unless Clearance is granted by government. However, for no objection certificates, same will be deemed as granted upon expiry of the stipulated period. Upon allocation of wind block from NIWE, the project developer will have to obtain the following clearances:

1. Ministry of  Environment & Forests: Approvals under Environment Impact Assessment notification and Coastal Regulation Zone notifications;

2. Ministry of Defence: Clearance related to defence & security aspects, related to Army, Navy, Air force, DRDO and other institutions under the Ministry.

3. Ministry of External Affairs: Clearance for development of offshore wind energy projects within the maritime zones of India.

4. Home Ministry: Clearance for deployment of foreign nationals in off-shore wind farms. 

5. Ministry of Civil Aviation: Clearancfor construction near aviation radars/aerodromes. No clearance/NOC required for all other locations. 

6. Ministry of  Petroleum & Natural Gas: Clearance for off-shore wind farm proposed in oil-gas blocks. NOC will be required for construction outside blocks.

7. Ministry of Shipping: Clearance for proposed wind-farm near major ports. NOC for operating away from shipping lanes.

8. Department of Space: Clearance with respect to minimum safety distance to be maintained from space installations.

9. Department of Telecommunications: NOC for operating outside sub-sea communication cable zones.

10. Ministry of Mines: NOC for operating outside mining zones. For additional clearances/approvals required for evacuation/logistics, developer will have to contact respective state government.

NIWE will facilitate for obtaining these clearances.  But clearance/approvals required from state governments will be obtained by the respective project developer.

SEABED LEASING

Leasing of seabed will be done by NIWE for the developer selected through international competitive bidding. NIWE will collect a specified fees for survey, construction and operational lease period. The purpose of the lease will be limited to exploration and exploitation of wind energy in allocated wind blocks. Developer will have to agree to a site restoration/decommissioning plan and lease will stand automatically terminated if with developer is unable to generate wind electricity within a specified period from signing of contract.

POWER PURCHASE

State distribution utility or other private companies will enter into power purchase agreement with project developer. Onshore infrastructure for power evacuation will be arranged by state/central transmission utilities.

FINAL APPROVAL

The certificate for commencement of off-shore wind farm will be granted by NIWE after verifying all statutory and regulatory guidelines. 

Source(s): 
http://mnre.gov.in/file-manager/UserFiles/National-Offshore-Wind-Energy-Policy.pdf
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/government-to-float-tenders-to-lease-sea-blocks-for-wind-farms-early-next-year/articleshow/49240287.cms

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