Below are the excerpts of our recent interview with Mr. B V Rao, Director (Technical), Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)
Could you please share your views on financial viability of wind solar hybrid system?
Wind solar hybrid power system is a very welcoming subject. It will improve the total generation because both are having the similar concept of infirm power. But the availability of the power can be set up in two stages. Solar power will be generated in daytime and whereas wind will be generated during off sun shine hours also. So, this will enable us to improve the PLF and also financial viability of the project. Solar power plant can be set up in existing wind farms also.
What are the expected returns of investments of wind solar hybrid power projects?
In wind solar hybrid system the returns should be high because if you take the stand alone basis with the solar the returns may be marginal with the low tariffs whatever now we have discovered under the reverse bidding process. But when we combine both power systems the return should be better and with a little extra investment it will lead to higher generation of the power. Viability of projects will be very high on the equity IRR.
What are your Financing outlook on low cost financing option through IREDA and other multinational financial institutions?
It is better to develop Wind Solar Hybrid Power Systems in the country to achieve higher power generation and also to make best utilization of land available in the wind farm. As such the land is very critical commodity and which is limited. For setting up the hybrid power plant it is required to utilize the land in between the wind machines for setting up solar power plant.
It is to be noted that infrastructure is already built up for evacuation of power in the wind farm hence by setting up solar power plant in between wind machine there is no extra infrastructure to be created. Even though there are certain concerns on the shadowing effect on the solar panels set up in the wind farm which can be taken care of by proper design of the solar plant. It is indeed required to provide incentive to encourage Wind Solar Hybrid System may be in the form of low cost funding or other fiscal/financial incentives.
There are two categories of Wind Solar Hybrid System i.e. in the brownfield where existing wind farm can be utilized to set up solar plant. In the other case, i.e. greenfield the new wind farm should be designed to accommodate solar power plant in the beginning itself. Special incentive packagesmay be provided to encourage setting up Wind Solar Hybrid Power Systems in the country specially to encourage solar plants in the existing wind farms in the immediate future so that we can ramp up the power generation immediately.
The financial institutions including IREDA are required to provide necessary funding to support the Wind Solar Hybrid Power System and suitable policy initiatives to be taken by MNRE also.