wind power plants, Gujarat,  Tamil Nadu, SECI, Adani Green, Bhuj Pooling station The new recommendations include power transmission projects worth Rs 393 crore at the Bhuj and Tuticorin pooling stations in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, respectively.

The national committee on transmission has recommended projects worth Rs 510 crore across Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, the two most coveted states for wind power developers. Inadequate transmission infrastructure in these wind-rich states has been an impediment to wind power developers, which led to the Centre cutting the capacity of wind power projects offered in the upcoming auctions by over 50% to 1,200 MW and cancelling the 2,000-MW wind tenders announced in April.

The new recommendations include power transmission projects worth Rs 393 crore at the Bhuj and Tuticorin pooling stations in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, respectively. Capacity augmentation works worth Rs 135 crore was also suggested at the Kozhikode substation to address the persistent high voltage situation being experienced during off-peak hours in the southern regional grid. These projects are expected to be allotted to Power Grid Corp of India without going through competitive bidding due to the urgency of implementation.

Of 6,050 MW of wind power bid by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), 950 MW and 4,000 MW are at Tirunelveli and Bhuj pooling stations. Inox Wind, Adani Green, ReNew and Sembcorp are building 800 MW, 650 MW, 565 MW and 550 MW, respectively, through the Bhuj pooling station itself. Sources said that the Bhuj Pooling station can accommodate a maximum 2,700 MW of wind power projects. It warrants additional transmission system to facilitate evacuation system for the fourth tranche of SECI bid, along with 4,000 MW potential of wind power in that area.

Read more: Panel proposes Rs 510-cr transmission projects...

The development closely follows the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) cancelling 2,000 MW wind tenders. (Representational photo: Reuters)

The capacity of wind power projects offered in the upcoming tranche of competitive bidding has been slashed to 1,200 MW from the original proposal of 2,500 MW, highlighting challenges faced by the country towards achieving the target of 175 giga-watt (GW) renewable energy capacity by 2022.

The development closely follows the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) cancelling 2,000 MW wind tenders, which official sources attribute to the tepid response from developers, in the wake of independent wind power producers not being able to find channels to evacuate power from their upcoming projects.

A person aware of the developments said the SECI, along with the Central Electricity Authority, Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) and the ministries of power and new and renewable energy (MNRE), has formed a committee to address the issue of inadequate power transmission mechanism for wind power plants.

A section of the industry FE spoke to is apprehensive that it might push the MNRE to chart a new auction trajectory for 10 GW wind power capacities set for FY19. Queries sent to the ministry on this issue were not responded till going to press.

FE had reported in early July that the SECI was undecided about the next course of action for 2,000 MW bid in the wake of such an unprecedented underwhelming response. ReNew Power, Adani, Sprng Energy and Riyadh-based Alfanar were the only companies to submit tenders for less than 300 MW each. Inadequate transmission infrastructure in wind-rich states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu had been a persistent impediment to wind power developers, and this was one of the reasons behind a number of them not participating in the 2,000 MW auction announced by the SECI in April.

Read more: Transmission woes: SECI halves wind capacity...

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