The MNRE is also in the process of launching a scheme for new hybrid projects under this policy, which are 10 to 15 percent cheaper than 100 percent solar or wind projects, an official told said. The official said that under the scheme, the government would bid out wind-solar hybrid projects on tariff-based competitive bidding and these projects can be set up anywhere across the country depending on feasibility and land availability with bidders.
The official said the efficiency of such projects ranges from 40-45 percent as the two clean sources complement each other while 100 percent solar or wind projects have an efficiency of 20 to 30 percent. Elaborating further on the lower cost of a hybrid project, the official said that common land, transmission system to evacuate power and equipment reduce costs by as much as 15 percent. The ministry had initially planned for 10 GW of such hybrid projects in the country, but now it depends on the response of bidders in view of merits over 100 percent solar or wind projects, the official added. The objective of the policy is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid-connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilisation of transmission infrastructure and land, an MNRE statement said.
The policy is also aimed at reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability. On technology front, the policy provides for integration of both the energy sources i.e. wind and solar at AC (alternate current) as well as DC (direct current) level. The policy also provides for flexibility in share of wind and solar components in hybrid project, subject to the condition that, rated power capacity of one resource be at least 25 percent of the rated power capacity of other resource for it to be recognised hybrid project.
The policy seeks to promote new hybrid projects as well as hybridisation of existing wind/solar projects. The existing wind/solar projects can be hybridised with higher transmission capacity than the sanctioned one, subject to availability of margin in the existing transmission capacity. The policy provides for procurement of power from a hybrid project on tariff based transparent bidding process for which government entities may invite bids. It also permits use of battery storage in the hybrid project for optimising the output and further reduce the variability.
The policy mandates the regulatory authorities to formulate necessary standards and regulations for wind-solar hybrid systems. With significant capacity additions in renewables in recent years and with hybrid policy aiming at better utilisation of resources, it is envisaged that the hybrid policy will open up a new area for availability of renewable power at competitive prices along with reduced variability. A scheme for new hybrid projects under the policy is also expected shortly, it added.