MNRE Directs Wind Developers to Comply with Ministry of Defense’s Directions

Many obstacle lights on wind turbines in the vicinity of the Air Force station at Bhuj are not working which has been addressed by the ministry

January 10, 2020


In a letter to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and wind project developers, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has directed the wind power developers in the vicinity of Air Force station at Bhuj to comply with the no-objection certificate (NOC) issued by the Ministry of Defense.

One of the mandatory requirements is the standard obstruction markings and lightings as per IS 5613 notification and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards on wind turbines.

The relevant clause of the NOC states:

“Standard obstruction markings and lightings as per IS 5613 notification and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards should be provided by the company. The lights should be kept ‘ON’ at all times. Provision should be made for standby power supply to keep the lights ‘ON’ during a power failure. The company should ensure standard markings and serviceability of obstacle lights in all weather conditions.”

The letter further states that the air force authorities have informed the MNRE that many of the obstacle lights on several wind turbines at the Air Force Station at Bhuj are either damaged or not working, and it has become a hazard for the aircraft.

The ministry in its letter has requested the wind developers to comply with the clause mentioned in the NOC and ensure that that the standard markings and serviceability of obstacle lights on all wind turbines are in line with these clauses failing which the ministry will be compelled to advise disconnection of such wind turbines from the grid.

In its letter, the ministry has also directed the wind farm operators to submit a report regarding the operation of these lights on their wind turbines to the ministry by January 17, 2020.

The ministry of defense has been consistently investing in renewable energy generation, which is evident in their regular tender activity. Renewable energy generators have to strictly adhere to the clauses of the defense lest they endanger their operations.

The Ordnance Factory Varangaon invited an Expression of Interest for solar power projects of 5 MW capacity at its site located in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Ordnance Factory, Varangaon is a vital defense production unit of the ammunition group under the Ordnance Factory Board in Kolkata, under the Ministry of Defense.

Recently, the Military Engineer Services (MES) issued a tender for a 500 kW rooftop solar power project at Indian Naval Air Station at Rajali, Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu. The estimated cost of the project is ₹27.5 million (~$386,881).

Earlier this year, the Indian Navy joined in the country’s efforts to go green. To this end, the Indian Navy pledged 1.5% of its entire works budget towards renewable energy generation. To achieve this goal, it has formulated a plan called the Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR), with specific action plans covering the entire gamut of operations, maintenance, administration, and infrastructure.