Subcontracts India

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Wind power development in India began in the 1986 with first wind farms being set up in coastal areas of Maharasahtra (Ratnagiri), Gujarat (Okha) and Tamil Nadu (Tuticorin) with 55 kW Vestas wind turbines. These demonstration projects were supported by the Minstry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The capacity has significantly increased in the last few years and as of 31 Aug 2016 the installed capacity of wind power in India was 27,676.55 MW, mainly spread across the South, West and North regions. Although a relative newcomer to the wind industry, compared with countries such as Denmark or the United States, by year end 2015 India had the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world  (behind 1. China, 2. USA and 3. Germany), having overtaken 5. Spain in 2015 and ahead of 6. UK.)

The potential for wind farms in the country was first assessed by Dr. Jami Hossain using a GIS platform to be more than 2,000 GW in 2011. This was subsequently re-validated by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, US (LBNL) in an independent study in 2012. As a result, the MNRE set up a committee to reassess the potential and through the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE, previously C-WET) has announced a revised estimation of the potential wind resource in India from 49,130 MW to 302,000 MW assessed at 100m Hub height. The wind resource at higher Hub heights that are prevailing is possibly even more. In the year 2015, the MNRE set the target for Wind Power generation capacity by the year 2022 at 60,000 MW.

East and North east regions have no grid connected wind power plant as of March 2015. No offshore wind farm utilizing traditional fixed-bottom wind turbine technologies in shallow sea areas or floating wind turbine technologies in deep sea areas are under implementation. However, an Offshore Wind Policy was announced in 2015 and presently weather stations and LIDARs are being set up by NIWE at some locations.

Wind power accounts nearly 8.6% of India's total installed power generation capacity and generated 28,604 million Kwh (MU) in the fiscal year 2015-16 which is nearly 2.5% of total electricity generation. The capacity utilization factor is nearly 14% in the fiscal year 2015-16 (15% in 2014-15). 70% of wind generation is during the five months duration from May to September coinciding with Southwest monsoon duration.

Optimization of wind power

Once the location of wind farm is selected based on the available wind data, next step is to optimize the wind power out put from the farm area using the available wind turbines from the manufactures. The spacing between the adjacent wind turbine is between 5 and 9 times of the rotor diameter in the prominent wind direction and 3 to 5 times perpendicular to wind direction. If needed CFD analysis can be performed to finalize the optimum layout. Higher rotor diameter increases the swept area of wind by increasing the wind turbine power. Higher hub height from the ground enables the rotor to use high velocity air available at higher elevation. Selecting a bigger rotor diameter and more hub height with latest transmission (mechanical to electrical energy) technology would maximize a wind farm power generation capacity, reduce the wind electricity generating cost and optimize the installation cost per MW capacity.


Initial cost for wind turbines is greater than that of conventional fossil fuel generators and capacity expansion of existing hydro power plants with pumped storage hydro units. Noise is produced by the rotor blades. This is not normally an issue in the locations chosen for most wind farms.

Most of the wind power generation is during the south west monsoon season when rivers usually flood with water generating cheaper secondary hydro power. Scheduling the wind power which is unpredictable secondary power (even on daily basis), at fair price is a problem during monsoon season. Also adding additional pumped-storage hydroelectricity units instead of new wind power plants to produce predictable secondary power on daily basis during monsoon months and pumped storage operation for converting excess power in to peaking power during the rest of the year is more economical and commercial proposition.

When large wind power plants are located away from the load centers, laying dedicated transmission lines to evacuate the unreliable secondary wind power is additional cost liability. In India, solar power is complementary to wind power as it is generated mostly during the non monsoon period in day time.  Solar power plants can be located in the inter space between the towers of wind power plants or nearby area with common power evacuation facility. The wind power plant should guarantee minimum power generation/export in a year (say 15% capacity factor) to the purchaser.

In case the generation is below the guaranteed minimum power export, penalty should be applicable for the electricity which is short fall. This is to prevent over declaration of plant nameplate capacity to mobilize 100% debt financing by promoters without real equity contribution.

The wind power policy allows accelerated depreciation of the wind power plants cost out of the profits accrued from other businesses of a company to cut down the overall company's tax liability. Businessmen are using short sightedly this window for reducing tax liability by installing cheaper wind mills of vintage technology based on supplier's claims without liability. This method of wind projects financing and implementation is leading to inefficient harnessing of the available wind potential.

Wind power plants need very less land (less than one acre/MW for tower foundation, access road, substation, power evacuation lines, etc.) compared to other power generation technologies. It uses air space without effecting vegetation on the ground. Air space is a national resource similar to mines, spectrum, etc. Wind potential shall be auctioned to the highest bidder for its efficient use.  Already very good sites with attractive wind potential are harnessed without reaping optimum value.

Offshore wind power plants

India is planning to enter in to offshore wind power, with a 100 MW demonstration plant located off the Gujarat coast. In 2013, a consortium (instead of group of organizations), led by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) started project FOWIND (Facilitating Offshore Wind in India) to identify potential zones for development of off-shore wind power in India and to stimulate R & D activities in this area. The other consortium partners include the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), DNV GL, the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) and the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE). The consortium was awarded the grant of €4.0 million by the delegation of the European Union to India in 2013 besides co-funding support from GPCL. The project action to be implemented from December 2013 to March 2018.

The project focuses on the States of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for identification of potential zones for development through techno-commercial analysis and preliminary resource assessment. It will also establish a platform for structural collaboration and knowledge sharing between stakeholders from European Union and India, on offshore wind technology, policy, regulation, industry and human resource development. FOWIND activities will also help facilitate a platform to stimulate offshore wind related R&D activities in the country. The consortium published initial pre-feasibility assessment reports for offshore wind farm development in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu in June 2015. In September 2015,  India's cabinet  approved the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy. With this, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been authorized as the Nodal Ministry for use of offshore areas within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

INDIA: Geographic Location and Wind Potential:

The potential is far from exhausted. It is estimated that with the current level of technology, the ‘on-shore’ potential for utilization of wind energy for electricity generation is of the order of 65,000 MW. India also is blessed with 7517km of coastline and its territorial waters extend up to 12 nautical miles into the sea. The unexploited resource availability has the potential to sustain the growth of wind energy sector in India in the years to come. Potential areas can be identified on Indian map using Wind Power Density map. C-WET, one of pioneering Wind Research organization in the country is leading in all such resource studies and has launched its Wind Resource map. 

In a step towards identifying and properly exploiting these wind resources, MNRE has estimated state-wise wind power potential in the country.

Subcontracts India-Trusted& Tested