One of India’s leading wind energy solutions providers, Suzlon Energy, has announced a new wind turbine that could help generate significant savings for project developers as competition in India’s wind energy sector intensifies.
Suzlon Energy announced in a press release that it has commissioned India’s largest wind turbine so far. At 140 meter hub height the turbine gives an output of around 2.6-2.8 megawatts.
The company has not launched the turbine commercially. It has installed a prototype at a location in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the leading state in terms of installed wind energy capacity.
According to the company, testing is underway with certification expected in Q3 of Calendar Year 2018 (CY2018). The S128 wind turbine generator is the latest addition to Suzlon’s product portfolio and features the time tested Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) technology. It also consists of the country’s largest rotor blade measuring 63 meters and has a rotor diameter of 128 meters.
It is designed to optimally harness wind resources at higher altitudes making low wind sites viable. This next generation turbine is well equipped to improve energy yield and support competitive tariff environment in India while protecting customers return on investment (ROI).
Suzlon management has called the new turbine “revolutionary,” but why? Apart from being the largest wind turbine in India, it is also a product that the sector desperately needs.
As we have been reporting for several months, India has switched from a feed-in tariff regime to competitive auctions. Capacity addition now is highly regulated and is completely dependent on the frequency of auctions. This has significantly increased the competition among project developers who recently bid the lowest ever tariff bids.
In fact, tariff bids in Indian wind energy auctions collapsed by around 30% in a matter of 10 months. Most new wind energy projects are now cheaper than an overwhelming majority of thermal power plants operational in India.
Developers using this turbine would be able to place very competitive bids. India plans to have at least 60 gigawatts of operational wind energy capacity by March 2022. To achieve this target, the federal government is expected to issue tenders for at least 20 gigawatts of the next couple of years according to a set timeline.
Suzlon would hope that the new turbine brings in some much-needed boost in sales as well. Despite having a share of 35% in India’s installed wind energy capacity, the company has faced stiff competition from the likes of Gamesa over the last few years.