India’s First Hybrid Renewable Power Plant

Hero Future Energies has commissioned the country’s first large-scale hybrid renewable energy project — a combination of sun and wind power — in Karnataka’s Raichur district. The company has added a 28.8 MW solar project to an existing 50 MW wind project set up two years ago.

A hybrid project has several advantages over a standalone solar or wind project, including saving on land, company insiders.

Solar projects need about five to seven acres of land per megawatt depending on the technology used, and though Hero did acquire some additional land for the solar project, it was far less than it would have had to for a standalone project of similar size.

By combining the two the project can supply steady power for a longer period in a day than standalone wind or solar plants, and improve its overall plant load factor (PLF).

It helps to smoothen out the supply to the grid and also optimises transmission cost. A single 24 km long line goes from here to the substation. A hybrid project also helps in forecasting and scheduling, making forecasting more accurate.

The project is a group captive one, with a number of private companies buying power from it directly at mutually agreed tariffs.