Replace and modernize—this is the new mantra for India’s wind energy sector. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has launched the policy for repowering of wind power projects with the objective to promote optimum utilization of wind energy resources.
The new policy for repowering projects is a double-edged sword which revolutionises India’s wind power capacity generation as well as modernizes it. Today, many if not all the installed projects rely on older technologies which operate below potential, despite being in high wind energy zones. Repowering will ensure that already developed wind farms will generate more power with new wind turbines with latest technologies thus helping the country meet its target of increasing renewable energy contribution in total energy mix.
The company has nearly 700 MW of renewable energy assets operating and in pipeline located across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. NuPower also owns and operates a 100-MW wind power project in Tamil Nadu.
As a part of the policy, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will provide an additional concession rate of 0.25% over and above the interest rate rebates available to the new wind projects being financed by the nodal agency. Also all fiscal and financial benefits available to the new wind projects will be available to the repowering project as per applicable conditions.
Initially wind turbine generators of capacity 1 MW and below would be eligible for repowering under the policy. The Government would, by all probability extend the repowering policy to other projects too, which will help in meeting its ambitious target.
In case of power being procured by State Discoms through Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the power generated corresponding to average of last three years’ generation prior to repowering would continue to be procured on the terms of PPA in-force and remaining additional generation would either be purchased by Discoms at Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) applicable in the State at the time of commissioning of the repowering project and/or allowed for third party sale.
A wind farm/turbine undergoing repowering would be exempted from not honoring the PPA for the non-availability of generation from wind farm/turbine during the period of execution of repowering.
Similarly, in case of repowering by captive user they will be allowed to purchase power from grid during the period of execution of repowering, on payment of charges as determined by the regulator.