Solar Corporation of India (SECI) is reportedly gearing up to launch its second hybrid tender – for projects combining wind and solar energy – in May.
According to ET, SECI has released an advertisement for developers alerting that it will be inviting sealed bids for “1000 MW of wind power projects in existing solar power projects” as well as “1000 MW of solar power projects in shadow free areas of wind power projects”, the details of which will be available on a particular website from May 14.
The publication notes that this tender is much larger than the one issue by the corporation in January this year. The results of this bid, which also included a small storage component, are yet to be announced.
Saving on land and transmission cost are some of the main advantages that hybrid power projects have as compared to standalone ones. Solar projects in particular need large swathes of land with a single megawatt of capacity requiring five to seven acres – so if some solar modules can be installed in the spaces between wind turbines, the saving on land costs can be considerable.
SECI is hopeful that the saving of costs and increased efficiency of hybrid projects will in turn lead to lowered tariffs. Both solar and wind tariffs fell steeply in the last three years, with solar touching a record Rs 2.44 per unit at an auction held in May 2017, and wind dropping to Rs 2.43 per unit at an auction in last December. Since then, however, both tariffs have been rising in subsequent auctions.
According to the report so far only one commercial hybrid project has been commissioned, though there have been a few other pilot ones.