The government plans to auction wind power projects of about 4 gigawatt (GW) capacity in tranches this year and the first round of bidding is expected to take place next month, a senior official said today. “We have planned to set up about 4 GW of wind power capacities through auction route. The auction would be done in batches. The first batch of such auction is being planned next month,” Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) Managing Director Ashvini Kumar told PTI.
The SECI is the nodal agency for holding auction of 4 GW wind power projects this fiscal. The auction is part of government’s plan to set up wind power capacity of 60 GW by 2022. “There should be auction of 5-6 GW wind power capacity every year after this fiscal for meeting the target of 60 GW wind energy by 2022,” Kumar said.
The government has decided to go through the bidding route as the first ever auction of wind power projects in February 2017 had seen power tariffs falling to all-time low of 3.46 per unit. Wind power capacity of 1 GW was auctioned by the SECI in February.
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Power Minister Piyush Goyal in February had indicated that the government could go for more such auctions in future as the average wind tariff, that was hovering above Rs 5 per unit earlier due to feeding of rates and lack of transparency, dropped to all-time low of Rs 3.46 per unit in tariff-based bidding.
The wind power tariff has been decided on the basis of inputs, such as cost of land and equipment, and borrowing expenses, provided by power regulators. However, the feed in tariff used to remain same for the period as long as 25 years and there was no fuel cost involved as in case of thermal power.
Industry experts are of the view that there would be more and more auctions in the wind power segment in view of success of the first auction in February this year. At present, installed wind power capacity in the country is nearly 28.7 GW, which is over 9 per cent of the total installed capacity of 314.64 GW, as on January 2017.
Globally, India is at the fourth position after China, the US and Germany in terms of wind capacity installation. The Centre has set an ambitious target of 175 GW power from renewable energy resources by 2022, and of this, 60 GW has to come from wind power.