FOWIND: Facilitating Offshore Wind in India

To promote offshore wind power development in order to facilitate India’s transition towards a low carbon energy future

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Ruben Menezes Ruben Menezes
Senior Engineer, Offshore Projects
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The consortium led by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is implementing the Facilitating Offshore Wind in India (FOWIND) project. Other consortium partners include the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), DNV GL, the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL), and the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE). The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), an autonomous R&D institution under the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is a knowledge partner to the project since June 2015.

The project seeks to establish structural collaboration and knowledge sharing between the EU and India on offshore wind technology, policy and regulation and serve as a platform for promoting offshore wind research and development activities. The project focuses on the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for identification of potential zones for development through preliminary resource and feasibility assessments for future offshore wind developments, as well as through techno-commercial analysis and preliminary resource assessment. The project consists of a total of seven work packages. www.fowind.in

In February 2015, the Indian government announced its plans to almost quadruple its renewable power capacity to 175 GW by 2022 as part of the plan to supply electricity to every household in the country. This includes 60 GW from wind energy. India already has a strong track record in onshore wind, with an installed capacity of 26.92 GW (world’s fifth largest wind energy producer) at the end of October 2015. The sector has faced several challenges including national policy instability and state-specific issues linked to land acquisition and grid integration. However, both onshore and offshore wind energy are anticipated to play a vital future role in moving the country into a low carbon economy.

The offshore policy and various guidelines on resource assessment, clearances, the setting up of offshore wind projects was approved by the Union Cabinet in October 2015. The objective of the policy is to promote development of offshore wind farms. The nodal ministry for overall monitoring of offshore wind development in the country will be the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The FOWIND project consortium is working closely with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the National Institute of Wind Energy, key centres and state based agencies to develop a roadmap for offshore wind development in India, with a focus on the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The on-going discussions on developing offshore wind in India are encouraging and the FOWIND project is providing technical support through its preliminary assessments and feasibility analysis while increasing stakeholder awareness and involvement. The FOWIND pre-feasibility studies released in 2015 provided an overview of the potential for offshore wind developments in the Indian state of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Technical, financial, social and environmental parameters were considered based on factors such as existing public domain data, documented international experience and proven characteristics of offshore wind energy technology gained in over 10 years of commercial European offshore wind to identify eight potential offshore development zones in each state. A number of key constraints were considered, combining both technological barriers and spatial conflicts. A mesoscale wind resource map was modelled encompassing Gujarat and Tamil Nadu’s coastal waters within the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as one of the key parameters. Zone identification was followed by a preliminary wind farm design for each zone.

Two indicative project capacities of 150 MW and 504 MW were considered since these are broadly representative of typical European commercial offshore wind developments. Similarly, two wind turbine generator (WTG) sizes of 4 MW and 6 MW were considered in the modelling. These capacities are representative of established (4 MW) and current (6 MW) offshore wind turbine designs. Based on these wind farm capacities and turbine sizes, a high level Annual Energy Production (AEP) assessment was carried out for all eight zones and indicative Capacity Utilization Factors (CUF) were estimated. Technical considerations were examined at high level for the identified zones. These comprise of a foundation screening study, a wind farm electrical concept study, installation considerations (ports, vessels and installation methodologies) and operation and maintenance considerations.

Based on the estimated wind resource potential, technical considerations and preliminary project costing, Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) heat maps were developed for the eight identified zones. A preliminary risk assessment was conducted to identify areas which require more detailed assessments. A FOWIND supply chain, port infrastructure and logistics study has been completed and is due for release in the coming month. The report provides:

  • an overview of key supply chain elements required for offshore wind
  • a high-level appraisal regarding the feasibility of local supply for key components in the medium and long term
  • an overview of key infrastructure and logistical requirements for an offshore wind project during development, fabrication, transportation, installation, operations and maintenance and decommissioning
  • an appraisal of suitability and readiness of India’s existing port infrastructure for offshore wind development
Project ongoing work
  • On-site wind measurement campaign – an offshore LiDAR wind measurement campaign is scheduled to help mitigate this risk; limited area coverage. Full Feasibility Study – Pilot Project Site Selection, Preliminary Engineering and cost modelling; to be included within the FOWIND full-feasibility study.
  • Extreme wind speed studies considering typhoon risk – to be conducted to some extent in the FOWIND full-feasibility study
  • Gathering further constraint data, metocean data and ground related data (Geophysical and Geotechnical) – to be conducted to some extent in the FOWIND full-feasibility study
  • Logistics and Infrastructure Study – an updated and more detailed investigation should be completed after the area for the pilot project site has been selected
  • Grid Connection and Transmission Study – to be included within the FOWIND Grid Connection Study
  • Preliminary Environmental and Social Impact Study (ESIA) – an updated and more detailed investigation should be completed after the area for the pilot project site has been selected
  • Stakeholder Engagement Workshops – to be conducted to some extent as part of FOWIND’s stakeholder activities
  • Development of a supportive National and Local Policy environment and guidelines to promote development in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – in view of India’s existing policy framework for offshore wind a long-term outlook for the sector will be developed.

Read the latest FOWIND report published on July 2016 here. The report discusses on supply chain and logistics capability and challenges for the offshore sector; and ports infrastructure in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

For more information visit the FOWIND website to view newsletters and reports.

Alternatively, please download the latest FOWIND publications below: