June 24, 2016: The hybrid wind and solar energy draft policy, that was released recently, aims at supporting a huge grid-connected wind-solar PV (photovoltaic) system for ideal and competent use of transmission infrastructure and land, decreasing the variability in renewable power production and obtaining enhanced grid stability.
The success of the policy will depend on the rate level, which may be bid-based or feed-in rate-based, according to renewable power unit industry. In addition, overall regulatory lucidity with regards to rate standards for hybrid projects remains a significant element
The size of the solar PV capacity could be smaller in places where there is high wind power density, according to the policy. On the other hand, in locations with low wind power density, the module of the solar PV capacity might be on a higher level.
Need for cautious and clear execution of the policy
While the implementation of the policy needs to done carefully, the evacuation policy should also be clear. Transmission augmentation, scheduling, and forecasting of delivered power also should be accurately calculated.
On the other hand, on the technological level, direct current incorporation of collective power requires to be designed in a careful manner. In addition, rate determination will form one of the chief issues. At present, wind power functions on feed-in tariffs (FITs), while solar functions on bidding. Hence, it is important that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) introduce an FIT for wind solar hybrid structure.
Indian wind-solar hybrid projects face rate challenges
While there were innate advantages in hybrid projects in ideal use of resources, the project economics for such schemes would be significantly dependent on the rate level, according to Sabyasachi Majumdar, the senior vice-president of Investment Information & Credit Rating Agency (ICRA)
Majundar also pointed out that the overall regulatory lucidity with regards to rate norms for hybrid projects remains a key. CERC is required to put down general rate principles in addition to preparing and forecasting framework norms for such hybrid projects, which may as well offer guidance for State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) to follow,” Majumdar added.
The distribution utilities would be eager to see a steady and expected supply pattern from such grouping of renewable-energy technologies besides cost optimisation owing to saving in land and evacuation expenses, according to renewable power unit players.