India has taken another step forward in its effort to develop offshore wind projects off its coast as the FOWIND Consortium launched a report looking at grid integration issues for offshore wind in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
The report assesses the elements necessary in the future design of offshore wind farms to ensure grid integration with a preliminary evaluation of existing grid infrastructure across the two states.
The DNV GL-led study aims to form a basis for upcoming offshore wind feasibility assessment and gives a better understanding regarding what is required for developing offshore wind in India. The FOWIND Consortium, led by GWEC, aims to complete the preliminary roadmap for offshore wind development in India in 2018.
FOWIND is focused on early projects and the possibility for providing easy grid access without any significant need for upgrades for the regional or local grids. The study provides the first of its kind overview of the existing grid infrastructure in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. It was prepared in collaboration with the state utilities GETCO and TANGEDCO with a focus on integrating offshore wind.
Mathias Steck, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager Asia Pacifis, said: “For the success of renewables in general and offshore wind specifically it is important that it can be integrated into the grid. Otherwise curtailment will have a massive impact on the LCoE. A strong grid is the backbone of a high renewables generation future.”
India is the fourth largest onshore wind market in the world, with a total capacity of over 32.6GW. However, India still has a need for large-scale, clean and indigenous energy generation to fuel its rapidly growing economy. Therefore, offshore wind power could play an important role due to the large wind resources available near centres of high-energy demand. Globally, offshore wind is becoming increasingly cost-effective with close to 14.5GW installed at the end of 2016.
Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General, said: “Offshore wind has taken dramatic steps forward in the past two years, particularly the major established market in Europe where tender prices have dropped by more than 50% in the last 18 months. It is a rapidly maturing technology ready to go global and we expect India to be one of the major beneficiaries.”
In 2014, after a feasibility study of Indian offshore wind potential, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were selected as ideal to feature the first Indian offshore wind farms. A year later, the FOWIND Consortium released pre-feasibility reports which identified the key offshore areas where detailed wind resource assessment should take place off the coast of the two states.