India has enormous potential for wind and solar energy. But, due to the intermittent and inconsistent nature of both solar and wind power, the Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) for standalone solar and wind power plants is low.
This issue can be partially resolved by blending the energy generated from the two sources as a hybrid system, improving CUF and ensuring greater reliability and grid stability. With a hybrid system, the CUF can be increased to about 50% vis-a-vis 20-35% CUF for standalone solar or wind plants.
The wind-solar hybrid market gained traction in India following the announcement of the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy 2018. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has taken the lead by regularly coming up with large tenders to scale up this market.
The government is also focused on conducting auctions for Round The Clock (RTC) and hybrid tenders as well, to reduce the problem of intermittent supply and make clean power more competitive against traditional thermal plants.
In India, till date, the total capacity issued for wind-solar hybrid projects is 12.33 GW, out of which 6.26 GW capacity has been allocated.Hybrid tenders have been receiving good response from the market and are mostly fully subscribed with the lowest winning tariff in the range of Rs 2.41/ kWh- Rs 3.24/ kWh. Although, the only exception is the Wind Solar blended 2500 MW tender (80% wind and 20% solar) issued in Mar 2020 which was undersubscribed by 1530 MW.
This specific tender was first issued as a plain vanilla wind tender but because of poor participation from developers, it was later converted to a wind-solar blended tender.