The government on Monday unveiled the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy to make the renewable energy sector more investor-friendly. The salient features of the policy include optimal utilisation of assets where wind turbines and solar systems will be configured at the same grid connection points. The policy also aims to encourage new “technologies, methods and way-outs,” involving combined operation of wind and solar power plants.
“A wind-solar plant will be recognized as hybrid plant if the rated power capacity of one resource is at least 25% of the rated power capacity of other resource,” the policy said.
Currently, both solar and wind projects are constrained by the intermittent (nature-dependent) generation, leading to transmission disturbances and inadequate access to the grid. The new policy, analysts said, is expected to address the issue of inadequate renewable transmission capacity, one of the key issues behind delays and postponements of setting up renewable energy power plants.
Hybrid plants would expedite the process of attaining 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022, as there are large areas in the country where both wind and solar have high potential. Though the share of renewable capacity in the country, at 69 GW, is more than 20% of the total installed generation capacity in the country, the actual electricity they produced in FY18 was less than 8% of the total.
Tariff of new hybrid power plants would have to be determined by state electricity regulators, or through reverse auctions. Existing wind or solar power plants can hybridise their projects if developers agree to augment the necessary transmission capacity to the nearest sub-station at their own responsibility, the policy stated.
The Central Electricity Authority and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission will formulate necessary standards and regulations for hybrid power projects.