March 14 -- India’s first tender for sea-bed leasing for offshore wind projects is likely to be issued by the end of March, 2023. National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) will be issuing the tender. The announcement came on the sidelines of the second ‘UK-India Offshore Wind Summit’ which was held in Chennai on 10 March, 2023.
The tender will be for four blocks of sea-bed in the Gulf of Mannar, off the coast of southern Tamil Nadu, each of which can accommodate one GW of wind power plants.Bidders will be evaluated on their technical capabilities (70 percent) and the lease rent offered for the sea-bed (30 percent). The top-four bidders will get a consent letter from NIWE to carry out the survey. Along with the consent letter, they will sign the ‘Agreement to Lease’, then the Survey Lease Deed Agreement’ and then the ‘Construction and Operation Lease Deed Agreement’, to finally receive the ‘Concessionaire Agreement’ from NIWE.
The tender would be floated under the ‘Model - 3’ envisaged in a government ‘strategy paper’ of July 2022. The government expects to build 12 GW of offshore power under this model, which will enable the entities involved in building the wind power projects to sell their power on ‘open access’ directly to customers without any financial assistance from the government of India (GoI). The southern coast of Tamil Nadu, for which the first tender is to be issued, has wind speeds of 9-10 metres per second, as per NIWE.Meanwhile, MNRE is also working on a tender for one GW of capacity for one zone off Gujarat coast, under ‘Model - 1’, through which the government can provide ‘viability gap funding’. A tender for Gujarat is expected to be floated soon.As per NIWE’s estimates, there is an offshore wind potential of 37.2 GW off the Gujarat and 25.3 GW off the Tamil Nadu coasts respectively.