MNRE releases draft guidelines for wind-solar hybrid projects

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued its draft guidelines for the tariff-based competitive bidding process for the procurement of power from grid-connected wind-solar hybrid projects. The guidelines aim to provide a framework for a bidding process for the procurement of hybrid wind-solar projects. The guidelines have been issued for hybrid projects of at least 5 MW at one site with the minimum bid capacity of 25 MW for intra-state projects; and individual size of at least 50 MW at one site with the minimum bid capacity of 50 MW for inter-state projects. According to the guidelines, the stakeholders can submit their comments and suggestions to the draft guidelines by October 31, 2019.

Wind-solar hybrid projects are slowly picking up in the country. The key growth drivers for these projects are:

Land availability: Land constraint has been a significant roadblock in the growth path of solar and wind power segments. Co-locating the two sources helps solve the issue of land, resulting in greater capacity per unit area.

Transmission infrastructure: Transmission infrastructure has been a pain point for the renewable energy sector. With co-located hybrid power plants, common infrastructure such as substations can be utilised to transmit more energy.

Infrastructure synergies: Infrastructure synergies such as balance of plant, land availability, evacuation infrastructure etc lead to cost savings and help reduce project levelised cost of energy.

Increased generation: As both solar and wind power generation takes place within the same land area, the generation per unit area is considerably higher than that of pure-play wind or solar power plants.

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