The first offshore wind farm project in India would come up in Gujarat. It would be a 200 MW demonstration wind farm.
CHENNAI: With Centre identifying Tamil Nadu as a potential destination for offshore wind farms, Chennai-based National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has been given a go-ahead to install Laser Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) devices in Dhanuskodi, Valinokkam and Thoothukudi coastline in the Gulf of Mannar.
LiDAR devices are meant to measure the wind speed. The data collection platform, costing Rs 5.5 crore, will function for two years, measuring data that will validate the wind potential of these sites. NIWE, under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is the nodal agency for development of offshore wind energy.
To install LiDAR devices, NIWE will have to build offshore structures, for which help of National Institute of Ocean Technology has been sought. The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Union Environment Ministry recommended granting of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for building offshore structures.
TN Coastal Zone Management Authority has also given its in-principle approval for the project last month, as per official documents accessed by Express. Official sources told Express that wind data from LiDAR devices was crucial to validate the potential, whose estimate currently was based on modelling studies that are prone to go wrong.
European Union, which supported preparation of the feasibility study, said in its report, “There is currently no installed offshore wind measurement in TN. Once 12 months of on-site LiDAR data becomes available, the government may wish to conduct a full energy assessment in support of this feasibility study.”
“The feasibility study relied on available satellite data and mesoscale modelling methods. Without offshore measurements available to give validation points there exists a high level of inherent uncertainty and presented results must be treated with due caution.”
In April this year, Union Cabinet gave ex post facto approval to an agreement signed between India and Denmark for cooperation in the field of renewable energy with focus on offshore wind energy. The first offshore wind farm project in India would come up in Gujarat. It would be a 200 MW demonstration wind farm.