According to reports, Suzlon Energy, one of the world’s leading wind energy groups, plans to set up a rotor blade manufacturing facility near Madurai at a cost of Rs.50 crore. The company is in the process of identifying a suitable site close to the national highway.
In an interaction here on Wednesday, Tulsi R. Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director of Suzlon Energy, said that the plant, which was expected to go on stream in 2012, would produce rotor blades for sites with low and medium wind velocity. Madurai, he explained, was chosen for logistic reasons as it would be easier to move the huge blades with a diameter of 95 metres to their southern destinations.
Hailing Tamil Nadu as a pioneer in wind energy production, he said that about half of the total installed capacity in the country was here. While India had a potential to produce one lakh mw of wind power, the installed capacity was at 14, 000 mw. In this, Tamil Nadu’s share was 6, 600 mw. He assured that Suzlon, which provided an end-to-end support for its customers, would support the State Government in augmenting wind energy production at a time when there was power deficit. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation should invest in grid infrastructure to enable easy evacuation from wind energy production sites as coal was also becoming expensive.
Mr. Tulsi said that only some pockets were available for installation of wind energy production units in the high wind areas of the southern districts and it was time to move over to medium and low-wind sites. He felt that offshore projects would be suitable for Tamil Nadu. Windmills could be installed along the coast, at a distance of 20 km from the shore, and power transmitted to land through underground cables.