MNRE Issues Draft Certification Program & Guidelines for Wind Turbines in India
The program will provide guidelines and standards for the construction and operation of wind turbines in the country
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has prepared a draft certification program complete with quality guidelines. The guidelines have been made in consultation with National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai, and is named the Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS). The draft is open for comments until December 5, 2018.
Per the MNRE, the certification scheme is a consolidation of both national and international standards (IS/IEC/IEEE), Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) technical regulations and requirements, MNRE guidelines, among others. In these guidelines, the MNRE has incorporated various best practices from other countries to ensure the quality of the wind energy projects from concept to lifetime of wind turbine,
Other reference documents that have informed the IWTCS include the Indian Type Approved Model (ITAM), Indian Type Certification Scheme (ITCS), the Wind Farm Project Certification Scheme (WFPCS) and the Wind Turbine Safety & Performance Certification Scheme (WTSPCS).
India’s wind sector is growing at a steady pace, across the country. Additionally, modern wind turbines have higher hub heights, larger rotor diameter, higher capacity and improved capacity utilization factor (CUF) along with technological improvements. With the new technological developments, there is a need for a comprehensive document which provides technical requirements and compliance measures for the safe and reliable operation of wind turbines by all the stakeholders. This includes the need for technical regulations to provide common ground for OEM’s, developers, investors and financial institutions for systematic project development.
To that end, the IWTCS’s goal is to provide the standard for best practices to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), end users -utilities, state nodal agencies, developers, independent power producers, owners, authorities, investors and insurers, certification bodies and testing laboratories.
The IWTCS also creates guidelines for: wind turbines that comprise of prototype certification and type certification; project certification, failure reporting of installed wind turbines, safety and performance assessment, and the de-commissioning and safe disposal of the wind turbine/wind turbine projects installed onshore and offshore.
With regards to project evaluation, the IWTCS specifies guidelines to assess wind turbines on their, safety, reliability, performance, testing and interaction with electrical power networks.
These guidelines are divided into four volumes to comprehensively describe the certification requirements for each step of the construction, operation, and monitoring of wind projects. They are as follows:
Volume-I – Management of IWTCS, Indian Type Approved Model (ITAM) and Recommendation for Grid Synchronization of Prototype Wind Turbine
Volume-II – Indian Type Certification Scheme
Volume-III – Wind Farm Project Certification Scheme
Volume-IV – Wind Turbine Safety and Performance Certification Scheme
When contacted, an MNRE official said, “Wind in India has become cheaper than solar, plus it is less infirm when compared to solar and in MW-scale projects wind energy production is more compared to MW-scale solar projects. This has led to states and agencies scrambling to issue wind tenders. These guidelines will ensure good quality projects are constructed in India. These were necessary and the MNRE has incorporated all the relevant procedures in this certification program to ensure the reliability of supply from current and future wind projects to be developed in India.”
Earlier this year, MNRE came up with a course of action for wind turbine generators to follow in order to get low voltage ride through (LVRT) certification. MNRE issued the course of action as part of an order that pertains to the compliance of WTG models to the technical standards of the CEA for grid connectivity.