Tamil Nadu, the leading state in wind power in India

Twenty wind turbines have completed the 25.5MW Tamil Nadu Muppandal wind farm on the southern tip of India. The 20 turbines have added 17MW of power to the 8.5MW produced by ten that were erected between March and April 2005. Gamesa Eólica received the order for the G58-850kW turbines from Indian company Pioneer Asia Wind Turbines.

The total contract was for €10.5m. The towers, blades and components of the nacelle were assembled locally by Pioneer Asia. The wind farm is helping to reduce India’s reliance on fossil fuels, and will reduce emissions by an estimated 50,000t CO2 equivalent a year.

The wind energy harnessed at a particular site is proportional to the air density, the sweep surface and the cube of the wind speed. Indian Windpower reports that the gross wind potential in Tamil Nadu is 3,050MW, with technical potential of 1,880MW.

Pioneer Asia of Sivakasi is a leading industrial group in South Tamil Nadu, with over 50 years in various markets. It has a turnover above 2.5bn Indian Rupees.

Farooq Abdullah said the government has been promoting commercial grid connected wind power projects through private sector investment in wind potential states, including Tamil Nadu by providing financial incentives, loan from Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and other financial institutions.

The government, through the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET), Chennai, is also providing technical support, including detailed wind resource assessment, to identify further potential sites, the minister said.

The minister said the government has also embarked upon an ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission – `Solar India,’ which aims at producing 20,000 MW of solar power by the year 2022.

"I am happy to announce that the government has approved a new policy on development of solar energy in the country by launching of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. This is a historic and transformational initiative of the UPA government and I am proud to have the privilege of being assigned the task of overseeing its implementation. The Solar Mission is very much in line with the vision of modern India of Pandit Nehru, which has made India today, a leading nuclear and space power," he said.

This Mission is one of the eight key national missions that together form India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change that aims at contributing to India’s long-term energy security while ensuring ecological security.

"We are living in a world of rapidly depleting fossil fuel resources and access to conventional energy resources such as oil, gas and coal is becoming increasingly constrained. The rapid development and deployment of renewable energy is imperative in this context and in view of high solar radiation over the country solar energy provides a long term sustainable solution," he said.

The solar mission would be implemented in three stages leading up to an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2022.

It is envisaged that as a result of rapid scale up as well as technological developments, the price of solar power will attain parity with grid power at the end of the mission, enabling accelerated and large-scale expansion thereafter, he said.

The mission will utilise both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies in the first phase. In addition, it would also focus on R&D and HRD to develop and strengthen Indian skills and enhance indigenous content to make the mission sustainable.

The mission will establish a single window investor-friendly mechanism, which reduces risk and at the same time, provides an attractive, predictable and sufficiently extended tariff for the purchase of solar power for the grid. The focal point, for the next 3 years, will be the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which is the power-trading arm of the NTPC, he added.

NTPC Vidyut Vyapar will be the designated authority for the purchase of solar power generated by independent solar power producers, at rates fixed by the Central Regulatory Electricity Commission and for a period specified by the latter.

The government will provide equivalent MW of power from the unallocated quota of NTPC for bundling with solar power. The utilities will be able to account for purchase of solar power against their RPO obligations.

The mission also includes a major initiative for promoting rooftop solar PV applications. Solar tariff announced by the regulators will be applicable for such installations. The power distribution companies will be involved in purchase of this power.

The study area Tamil Nadu lies within the latitude 8° 5′ – 13° 35’N and longitude 76º 15′- 80º 20′ E. Tamil Nadu is situated in the southern end of Indian peninsula, which is bounded by Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh in the north, Bay of Bengal in the east and Indian ocean in the south and Kerala in the West. The total area of this state is 130,058 Km2.