The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is gearing up to release tenders for seven seabed sites off the Tamil Nadu coast, earmarked for offshore wind energy projects with a combined estimated capacity of 7,215 MW.
The initial tender is expected to be issued in the current fiscal year for four of these designated sites, with the remaining three planned for the fiscal year 2025, as indicated in a ministry notice.
Under this framework, developers can bid for the sites pre-identified by the National Institute of Wind Energy and further assess their physical and commercial viability. It is anticipated that each site will have an approximate capacity of 1,000 MW.
For the identified offshore wind energy blocks, interested developers will be required to quote a lease fee. However, the government will not guarantee off-take in this tender. Developers will have the flexibility to sell the power generated through open access, power markets, or by entering agreements with states, according to the notification.
It’s worth noting that these projects do not fall under any viability gap funding (VGF) scheme at present, as discussions regarding such funding are ongoing. The cost of offshore wind energy is expected to decrease with technological advancements and infrastructure development, potentially obviating the need for government financial support, as per a government official’s earlier statement.
An internal ministry assessment suggests that the offshore wind energy power rate in Gujarat, currently around Rs 7-8 per unit, could potentially drop to approximately Rs 4.5 per unit by 2030.
Furthermore, offshore wind projects typically offer higher output compared to onshore wind projects. The government’s document indicates plans to auction approximately 37 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 through a combination of VGF and non-VGF schemes.