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Cabinet approves offshore wind energy projects in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for offshore wind energy projects totaling 1 GW in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, with an investment of Rs 7,453 crore.

Information & Broadcasting Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while announcing the decision said, “Union Cabinet has taken a landmark decision by approving India’s first offshore wind energy project. These will be 1GW offshore wind projects, 500 MW each (off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu). This is a big opportunity for India.”

The successful commissioning of 1 GW offshore wind projects will produce renewable electricity of about 3.72 billion units annually, which will result in annual reduction of 2.98 million ton of CO2 equivalent emission for a period of 25 years, as per the government.

The Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for offshore wind energy projects includes an outlay of Rs.6853 crore for installation and commissioning of 1 GW of offshore wind energy projects (500 MW each off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu), and grant of Rs.600 crore for upgradation of two ports to meet logistics requirements for offshore wind energy projects, said the government in a press release.

The VGF scheme is a step towards implementation of the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy notified in 2015 with an aim to exploit the vast offshore wind energy potential that exists within the exclusive economic zone of India.

The VGF support from the Government will reduce the cost of power from offshore wind projects and make them viable for purchase by DISCOMs, as per Centre.

Private developers will build the projects through a transparent bidding process. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) will construct the power evacuation infrastructure, including offshore substations.

Under the scheme, two ports in the country will be supported by Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to meet the requirements of offshore wind development.

Offshore wind is a source of renewable energy which offers several advantages over onshore wind and solar projects, such as higher adequacy & reliability, lower storage requirement and higher employment potential.

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