The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)( is to set up India’s first offshore wind turbines at Arichamunai near Dhanushkodi at an estimated investment of ₹300 crore, according to Bhanu Pratap Yadav, Joint Secretary, MNRE.
“We are exploring the possibility of installing offshore wind turbines in this region as we find this site best as far as the wind quality and speed are concerned,” Mr Yadav said after inspecting the site at Arichamunai, the eastern tip of Rameswaram island with Collector S. Natarajan and senior officials on Sunday.
The MNRE proposed to install four to five wind turbines, each with the capacity to generate minimum of 6 MW of power, though offshore wind turbines were quite large with capacities ranging from 6 MW to 12 MW. The Centre had given its nod and after obtaining clearances, the project would be launched in the next six months time, he said.
“Offshore turbines are aesthetic in looks and there are no major environmental issues,” he said, adding the Ministry would, however, make an environment impact study before launching the project.
The proposed wind turbines would be the ‘testing centre’ even while generating power to showcase the potential of this region to the interested players in new and renewable energy, Mr. Yadav said, and hoped that the setting up of the wind turbines would provide economic fillip in this region as far as maintenance and other activities were concerned.
He said MNRE had decided to go ahead with the project after the Chennai-based National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), which assessed the offshore wind potential for more than four years, came out with an encouraging report.
Its reports on offshore wind profile measurement showed that the quality and speed of the wind were extremely good, he added.
The MNRE would soon apply for clearances from about 12 different Central and State agencies, while taking other preparatory works for the project.
Permissions should be obtained from Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Environment and Forests among other agencies but there would no difficulty, Mr Yadav said.