The Cabinet of the Government of India has approved
the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy on 9 September 2015. The
policy aims to promote the development of offshore wind power
projects. Some of the key features of the policy include
designation of the National Institute of Wind Energy as the
principal agency, allocation of blocks through a competitive
bidding process, upfront submission of decommissioning programmes
by developers, development of offshore evacuation infrastructure by
developers and fiscal incentives available to
On 9 September 2015, the Cabinet of the Government of India
approved the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy (Policy). The
draft of the Policy was issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable
Energy in 2013.
The Policy aims to promote the development of offshore wind
farms up to 200 nautical miles from the coast line, an area
designated as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The key features
of the draft Policy are as follows:
(a) Principal Agency - The National Institute
of Wind Energy (NIWE) has been designated as the principal agency
for the development of offshore wind power projects. Its primary
functions will include approving the certificate of commencement of
operations, undertaking the preliminary resource assessment,
environmental impact assessment and oceanographic surveys in the
EEZ and granting of single-window clearances to developers.
(b) Allocation of Blocks - Blocks will be
allocated to potential developers through a competitive bidding
process. Selected bidders will execute sea bed lease agreements
with NIWE. The lease agreements will provide for automatic
reversion of allocated blocks to the government if developers are
unable to achieve commercial operations for their projects within a
(c) Decommissioning Programme - Selected
bidders will be required to submit a decommissioning programme to
NIWE upfront, as part of the application process, and it will be
approved before the sea bed lease agreement is executed.
(d) Off-take Arrangements - NIWE or State-owned
off-taking companies will execute power purchase agreements with
developers in accordance with the regulations of the Central
Electricity Regulatory Commission or the State Electricity
(e) Evacuation Infrastructure –
Transmission utilities owned by the State Government or the Central
Government will provide the onshore infrastructure required to
evacuate power generated by offshore wind power projects. Offshore
power evacuation infrastructure up to the first onshore substation
will have to be constructed by developers at their own cost.
(f) Fiscal Incentives - Offshore wind power
projects will be eligible for fiscal incentives such as a ten-year
tax holiday under the Income Tax Act, 1960, customs and excise duty
exemptions on manufacturing and importing equipment and exemption
from service tax on third party services relating to resource
assessment, environmental impact assessment and oceanographic
studies and use of survey and installation vessels.
(g) Security of Projects - Developers will be
responsible for the security of offshore wind power projects and
will assume the risk of uncertain geological conditions,
specifically while designing the foundations for turbines to be
installed in the sea bed.
In addition to the above, the Government may invite proposals
for development of demonstration projects in specified blocks. Such
projects will be exempted from payment of lease rent for a
specified period during which they will be operated and maintained
by developers and thereafter, transferred to the Government.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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