According to reports, as part of its efforts to woo the wind power investors to the state, Andhra Pradesh has drawn up plans for strengthening the power evacuation system in the state involving an outlay of Rs 1,800 crore.
“We have sent proposals worth Rs 1,800 for strengthening the power evacuation network to the Centre. We expect about 50 per cent of it coming as grant,” said Ajay Jain, chairman and managing director of Andhra Pradesh Transmission Corporation.
Power evacuation is a key aspect for the wind power sector to grow. Other aspects include availability of land with potential for tapping the wind energy.
At present, the state has about 200 mw wind power capacity commissioned and most of the projects have come up in the hilly Rayalaseema region.
Andhra Pradesh has already drawn up a master plan for evacuation keeping in view the wind power potential in the state, he said.
The state has 4,700 mw capacity allotted and of this 2,000 mw has been sanctioned and the remaining 2,700 mw is under consideration.
About 32 projects are commissioned in the state and 62 are in the pipeline. It is said that it might take three to four years for the sanctioned capacity to become operational. The wind energy potential in the state is estimated to be about 8,000 mw.
Chandan Mitra, vice chairman and managing director of Non-Conventional Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh, the nodal agency for sanctioning wind projects, said, the government, considering that power evacuation system is a key factor that will determine the growth of wind energy segment, has already started working on this aspect.
According to SS Murli, secretary of the Indian Wind Power Association (Andhra Pradesh chapter), strengthening of the evacuation net work will instill confidence among the industry. The industry feels the evacuation infrastructure in the state is better compared to other states but needs to improve in size in view of the upcoming projects.
Though strengthening of the evacuation network will help, the government should also consider the proposals from some industries to set up their own sub-stations. This will ensure that the wind farms get into business cycles faster, said an industry official.