Wind energy gets rain boost in Tamil Nadu

Early onset of southwest monsoon in southern Tamil Nadu has brought some cheers to power managers and consumers in the state with generation from wind power going from zero to 1,000MW in the last four days. For consumers, the rise in wind energy would mean reduction in power cuts by half-an-hour in the city to two hours in other districts.

TNEB sources, however, are quick to remind that power cuts will depend on wind energy generation on a real-time basis, since it cannot be completely relied on. “Usually rains in southern parts of the state is expected by mid-May. But, in the last four days, coastal areas such as Kanyakumari and Tuticorin where we have wind turbiness have been getting good wind,” said a TNEB official.

The power situation has improved in Coimbatore with normalcy in power supply coming as a relief for the industries. “For four days now, we have been able to work in full shift and there was no interruption in supply of power,” said Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Tiny Enterprises president J James. The power cuts had cost the industries here, which is incurring a loss of about 1.5 crore here.

Of the country’s wind power generation capacity of around 14,000MW per year, TN accounts for 6,547MW. Between April and October last year, nearly 660MW was added. At present, TN’s total electricity demand was around 11,500MW whereas the generation is at 7,500MW. TNEB has been introduced six hour power cuts in districts and two hours in the city daily. Unscheduled power cuts range between six hours to 13 hours a day in the districts.

“Last Saturday, we had half-an-hour less power cut. We hope more rains bring more power to the state,” said K Vijayalakshmi, a resident in Velachery. Perambur residents said they were pleasantly surprised on Saturday, when there was no power cut in the locality.

However, TNEB sources said evacuation of the power from wind turbines remain a major challenge for them. There is a need for an exclusive corridor for renewable energy including transmission lines to evacuate wind power from the source to the grid.