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  • The wind power sector is in for exciting times. The success of the 1 GW wind capacity auction, which saw tariffs falling to Rs 3.46 per kWh, seems to be having a positive ripple effect with all the states looking to migrate from a feed-in tariff (FiT) regime to competitive bidding for project allocation.

  • The past one month has seen the launch of four new tenders for wind power capacity - a 1 GW tender by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a 500 MW tender by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited, a 500 MW tender by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited, and a 250 MW tender by NTPC. Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have also announced their intention to soon release their tenders.
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  • At a time when the wind power sector has been hit by inordinate delays in the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) and untimely payments, and discoms have shied away from procuring power generated by wind projects, this transition to a competitive bidding regime has been received well across the value chain.

  • For developers that were awaiting approvals/clearances from various state departments before signing PPAs with discoms, this is an opportunity to develop a large amount of capacity at sites owned by them. For the financially stressed state discoms, the tariff at which they are currently buying wind power is much higher than the tariff quoted in the SECI auction. It, therefore, makes sense for these utilities to procure power at market-determined tariffs. .

  • However, the risks related to power offtake and payments will need to be addressed more intelligently, given the stressed balance sheets of the discoms and the lack of adequate transmission infrastructure. The state governments need to work towards resolving the challenge of intermittency associated with wind power through the effective implementation of forecasting and scheduling norms and increased efforts to make storage solutions viable.

  • Moving to the new regime may have another major downside. Discoms may try to renegotiate the existing PPAs for capacity that is already operational, which may not go down well with the investors.

  • Despite the aforementioned challenges, the good news is that the auction route reinforces the IPP-led wind energy business model. The sector is also witnessing increased interest from developers in setting up large-scale wind-solar hybrid projects. The draft national wind-solar hybrid policy, which targets 10 GW of capacity by 2022, will facilitate the development of these projects. Offshore wind is another opportunity that is coming up, for which the government has already notified the National Offshore Wind Polic

  • Going forward, these initiatives will trigger higher capacity additions in the wind sector, which has so far been adding 2-3 GW per annum. If all goes well, these will help the industry achieve the target of 60 GW by 2022.

  • The mission of this conference is to examine the new opportunities in the sector, study the impact of recent policy and regulatory initiatives, discuss the risks and challenges, and showcase the latest innovations, most promising technologies and noteworthy projects. The conference will also provide a platform to project developers, EPC companies and technology providers to share their experiences and exchange ideas.
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