Tamil Nadu to add 1,000 MW of wind power

With removal of restrictions and control on wind power evacuation in Tamil Nadu, where the installed capacity for wind power is the largest in the country, is expected to add another 1,000 MW this year.

According to industry sources to set up one mega watt of wind farm it would cost around Rs 6 crore.

The Tamil Nadu Government announced that from June 1 power cut will be withdrawn, mainly owing to the beginning of wind season, and removal of restrictions and control on wind power evacuation and withdrawal of all load shedding.

All these comes at a time when the wind power industry has been complaining infrastructure issues and payment delays from the State Electricity Board.

D V Giri, Secretary General, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, said that the removal of restrictions and control on wind power evacuation and withdrawal of all load shedding will instill confidence in the minds of investors to invest more as Tamil Nadu has good winds.

Tamilnadu investment in the past is for captive consumption which will help existing investors and in future more IPPs (independent power Producers) will invest.

Total installed capacity of wind energy in Tamil Nadu is 7,248 MW. This is almost 40% of the total wind installed capacity in the country, according to Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency. Almost full capacity is operating and connected to the Grid.

It may be noted, in 2012-13 addition of wind power in the state as only 175 MW as compared to 1,083.15 MW in 2011-12. The drop in the addition was attributed to withdrawal of the Accelerated Depreciation (AD) incentive for wind power projects w.e.f. April, 1 2012, infrastructure bottlenecks and payment delays.

Industry representatives says “considering two major issues – infrastructure and payment delay – are addressed and there are indication that AD might come back the industry will invest on new capacities in the State.”

During wind season the wind power contributes around 30-35% of the State power demand on a daily basis. On a yearly basis it is around 16-19%.

Besides infrastructure, one of the other challenge was payment from the State Electricity Board, which according to Giri, “delayed payments and evacuation are issues faced anywhere. There is improvement in payment now”.

Last year the industry has said the State Electricity Board owes around Rs 1,200 crore for the industry and the state government has cleared this till December, now the due is negligible to the tune of around Rs 100 crore, said a senior official from the industry.

On the infrastructure, he said commissioning of Kayathar 400 KV Substation by July and other Substations of Theppakundu, Kanarpatti, Anaikadavu and Rasipalayam can evacuate additional 4,000 to 5,000 MW.

Besides, the Green Corridor to evacuate power being funded through KFW- a German Fund, will greatly help the current situation, said Giri. Recently Tamil Nadu Chief Minister requested the Centre to provide a grant of Rs 2,250 crore for ‘Green Energy Corridor’ towards transmission schemes for evacuation of a portion of solar energy.