Power Grid to Plan Evacuation Infrastructure for 50 GW Solar and 16.5 GW Wind by 2021
A plan for 20 GW solar and 9 GW wind by 2020 has been considered for Phase-I of evacuation infrastructure
For better implementation of renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has written to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), the Central Transmission Utility (CTU) of India that is responsible for the transmission of electricity through Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS). In its letter, SECI has provided PGCIL with tentative plans of tendering capacities under its programs for solar and hybrid projects up to 2021.
According to the letter, a cumulative renewable energy capacity of 50 GW will be added. A plan for 20 GW solar and 9 GW wind by 2020 has been considered for Phase-I of evacuation infrastructure. The estimated cost for phase-I is ₹190 billion (~$2.7 billion). The estimated average cost of erecting the transmission infrastructure will be in the range of ₹6-7 million (~$87,734- 102,357)/MW.
SECI also informed PGCIL that additional 5 GW evacuation capacity will be required for wind projects in high priority wind zones for interstate transmission system (ISTS).
In the second phase of the capacity addition plan for solar and wind, 30 GW solar and 7.5 GW wind will be added to the grid by 2021. The total estimated cost of the transmission plan will be ₹236.5 billion (~$3.4 billion).
Mercom previously reported that mega solar tenders may get affected due to a lack of transmission infrastructure. Shortage of transmission played a role in the annulment of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL)’s 500 MW wind tender. Mercom recently reported that SECI’s 2 GW Tranche-V wind tender was undersubscribed by 800 MW due to a shortage of connectivity infrastructure.
This is a positive move by SECI, as it would facilitate the readiness of the transmission infrastructure for most projects that will be tendered out later in a phased-out manner. This, in turn, could garner an increased interest from project developers.