ONGC Eyes Offshore Wind Energy Projects

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Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is eyeing generating electricity from wind at its vast offshore acreage as it looks to augment its renewable energy portfolio, said Chairman Subhash Kumar.

ONGC has oil and gas fields both in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. That experience of operating in shallow and deep-sea is now being tapped to set up wind turbines to generate electricity that could be wired to land.

“A study for a pilot project in Offshore Wind has already been commissioned for assessing the opportunities in this niche segment,” Kumar said in the company’s latest annual report.

Last year, ONGC signed a Memorandum of Unity (MoU) with NTPC to achieve their targets in the renewable energy business. As per the MoU, NTPC and ONGC are to explore and set up renewable power assets including offshore wind, in India and overseas, and explore opportunities in the fields of sustainability, storage, e-mobility, and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) compliant projects and also safety aspects. Offshore windmills as almost twice as efficient as onshore wind turbines. But the cost per MW for offshore turbines is higher because of stronger structures and foundations needed in marine environments.

Indian government has set a target of 5 GW of offshore wind installations by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. ONGC, Kumar said, is pursuing opportunities in the renewable energy field in India and abroad.

“We added another 6 MW of solar capacity taking our total installed capacity (of solar energy) in excess of 30 MW. Our total installed capacity in renewable space has exceeded 325 MW and we have a long distance to cover as we are targeting 10 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030.” he added.

This target is part of the ONGC’s long-term blueprint Energy Strategy 2040.

ONGC will “further sharpen” its focus on climate-related aspects of its operations in order to remain relevant in tomorrow”s energy ecosystem, he said.

“To achieve that vision, we are extending our footprints thoughtfully and meaningfully beyond our core (oil and gas) exploration and production activities – at the same time, we are also taking all necessary measures to make our core activities more sustainable and less energy-intensive.” he said.

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