Tamil Nadu has the largest installed capacity in wind with installed capacity upwards of about 5887MW of which about 997MW was installed in the year 2010-11. The overall installed capacity in the year 2010-11 was about 2300MW.
A couple of weeks ago, the wind turbine manufacturers had announced of a plan to ask for an increase in tariff from the Tamil Nadu government, Panchabuta had mentioned that developers we spoke to have said that they would like a better payment schedule for their existing wind farms in Tamil Nadu. Most developers that we spoke to indicate that their typical payments are delayed by at least 4-6 months and that affects their projects significantly. It is in spite of these delays that projects continue to get installed in Tamil Nadu.
IPP developers that we spoke to indicate that if the payment was better and made as per the terms in the PPA and with improvement in evacuation facilities, Tamil Nadu could continue to maintain its dominant position in wind installations. It is this position that has led to huge manufacturing bases and jobs in the state something that the decision makes need to consider. With some of the action shifting to Maharashtra and Gujarat in terms of installations, new manufacturing facilities are being located in those states.
We had also mentioned that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has not paid for the power purchased from them in the last eight months. The arrears are now a whopping Rs 1200 crore.
According to reports today, a Japanese agency has shown interest in funding the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board’s (TNEB) Rs 4,000 crore project to improve wind energy evacuation in the state. Although power managers are apprehensive that the project may be delayed due to the current crisis in Japan, they say that it would solve many of the problems in transferring wind power smoothly into the grid.
Today, flowing wind power into the grid is a challenge. Up to 10% of the power is lost due to difficulties in bringing wind power to the grid.
As part of the project, there will be an exclusive transmission corridor for wind power alone. TNEB plans to link the wind corridor along with the main power plants in the locality. Wind energy will be transmitted to these stations and from there to the rest of the state. “The representatives of Japanese International Cooperation Agency has shown interest in funding the projects. Now the process is going through the proper channel,” said an official.
According to the proposed plan, service stations will be installed in wind generating stretches including Kayathar, Theni and Aralvaymozhi. “The service stations in Kayathar and Tirunellvelli have been constructed. We will have to start work in Theni, Udumalpet and other areas,” said a senior TNEB official.
So far, the government has been concentrating on wind energy generation, but not on evacuation. “The TNEB has written to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to set right this issue,” said the official.