Big! India’s First ISTS connected Wind Power Project Commissioned

The project is a partial commissioning by Ostro Kutch Wind Private Limited, for their Bhuj project. The 126 MW ISTS project marks the beginning of capacity additions in wind power based on market discovered tariffs. Thus, the project tool almost 18 months from tender to generation start.

The first batch of auctioned interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected wind energy projects have been commissioned in India, for projects under Tranche I tendered by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in November 2016. This comes after, Ostro Kutch Wind Private Limited successfully commissioned a partial capacity of 126 MW, for their projects in Bhuj, Gujarat.

SECI in February, 2017 conducted India’s first auction of wind power projects. The first of its kind auction garnered tariff of ₹3.46/unit, which was much lower than feed in tariffs in vogue those days. This was a 1 GW bid for projects to be connected on ISTS (Inter State Transmission System) wherein power generated from one state (renewable resource rich state) could be transmitted to other renewable deficient states.

Ostro, Mytrah, Green Infra and Inox Wind each one a project capacity worth 250 MW with their bids, Adani were awarded 50 MW of the project capacity. After conclusion of first-ever reverse auction for wind projects, power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind projects aggregating 1,049.9 MW were signed between PTC India, a power trading solution provider, and developers who won bids to develop projects.

As a part of this bid, Ostro Kutch Wind was issued letter of award on April 5, 2017 for a capacity of 250 MW, with commissioning period of 18 months. A part capacity of 126 MW, located in Bhuj (Gujarat) was commissioned by Ostro on August 24, 2018, ahead of schedule. The energy generated from this project is being purchased by Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The first auction also signified a major shift from the earlier regime of state-specific Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) model to a Pan-India, market-driven mechanism. Beginning with this tender, the SECI has brought out five tenders for wind power projects of cumulative capacity of 7250 MW, of which 6050 MW capacity has been awarded. Besides SECI and NTPC being central agencies, the State agencies of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat have brought out bids and awarded projects based on tendering.

According to MNRE, this 126 MW ISTS project marks the beginning of capacity additions in wind power based on market discovered tariffs, in line with the Government’s plan of having 175 GW renewable energy by 2022. Perhaps even the developers ould not have thought that tariffs would crash to as low as Rs 2.43 before stabilizing in the Rs 2.60 to Rs 2.75 range. It’s been a period of immense volatility since the first tender happened, with the industry still coming to terms with the new reality , some would say.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a correspondent at iamrenew.com and writes on renewable energy and sustainability. As an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he also works as a staff writer for saurenergy.com.

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