Hybridization of solar energy and wind power installations has the potential to decrease capital costs by about 5 to 7 per cent as compared to costs of standalone solar and wind power assets. This will result in improvement of returns for the renewable energy project developers, says a report. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy passed the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy in the month of May 2018 with the aim to cut variability in the generation and the utilization of common resources such as land as well as evacuation infrastructure.

‘Besides reduced variability in the generation of wind–solar hybrid projects as compared to the standalone solar or wind projects due to their complimentary nature of the generation, hybrid projects could lead to savings in capital costs due to the improved utilization of common infrastructure and resources like land, approach roads, or evacuation infrastructure,’ says Sabyasachi Majumdar, ICRA group head for corporate ratings. As per the estimates of the organization, the hybridization of the solar and Wind Power assets could lower capital costs by 5 to 7 percent as compared to the costs of standalone solar and Wind Power assets. This would improve the returns for developers, he added.

“At tariff rate of Rs. 2.5 per unit and with wind-solar mix of 50:50, internal rate of return (IRR) for a Wind Power–solar energy hybrid project can be higher by around 60 to 70 bps against standalone Wind Power or solar power project, with other things such as cost of debt, funding structure, power-purchase agreement terms, with operation and maintenance cost remaining the same,’ said Majumdar.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) issued a tender for 2500-MW power from hybrid plants to be setup in India as well as connected to the interstate transmission system (ISTS). This is under a 25 year power purchase agreement. ICRA also talked about integration of a greater share of Wind Power as well as solar power in electricity and power generation mix. This could have challenges for grid security as well as stability.

“This is owing to the variation in generation from these sources, given the dependence on Wind Power availability and solar radiation, respectively,” it said.