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Tenders for seven offshore wind energy blocks in Tamil Nadu soon

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is set to issue tenders for seven seabed sites or blocks off the Tamil Nadu coast for offshore wind energy projects with an estimated capacity of 7,215 MW.

The first tender is likely to be issued in the current financial year for four blocks or sites, while the rest are planned for FY25, as per a notice from the ministry.

Under this system, a developer can bid for the sites that have been identified by the National Institute of Wind Energy and explore it further for physical and commercial viability. The estimation is that each of the sites will likely have around 1,000 MW of capacity.

“The notification will provide a trajectory so that interested parties can prepare for the bidding,” an official said.

The bids for identified offshore wind energy blocks will require interested developers to quote a lease fee.

The government will not guarantee an offtake in the said tender, the official said. The developers can sell the power through open access, power markets or ink agreements with states, as per the notification.However, The National Institute of Wind Energy will facilitate major clearances required for the projects. Grid infrastructure for evacuation of power till the offshore substation will also be provided by the central transmission utility.These projects are not under any viability gap funding (VGF) scheme as such a proposal is still under discussion.

The cost of offshore wind energy is expected to reduce with technology and infrastructure facility development and as such projects may not need financial support from the government, a government official had earlier told ET.

The offshore wind energy power rate in Gujarat is around Rs 7-8 per unit which could come down to around Rs 4.5 per unit by 2030, as per an internal assessment by the ministry, the official had said.

Output from offshore wind projects is more than onshore wind projects. Offshore wind capacity of approximately 37 GW is planned to be auctioned till 2030 through VGF and non-VGF schemes, according to a document released by the government earlier.

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