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Wind mill owners to try novel approach to power trading

According to reports, windmill owners are considering partnering directly with wind energy consumers to facilitate power trading and get around power supply restrictions.

The Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA) along with its members is likely to float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in which the windmill owners and power consumers will be partners. This will mean the consumers who do not own wind mills or have adequate captive capacity will in effect own a share in the wind mill asset and can avail of benefits of captive power, says Dr K. Venkatachalam, Chief Advisor, TASMA.

The electricity rules dictate that only those with at least 26 per cent stake in a wind mill and consume at least 51 per cent of the power generated can avail of captive power benefits. A direct partnership between wind mill owners and consumers will help address this limitation, he said.

For the power suppliers, a partnership with the consumer means they are not constrained by the complex power trading mechanism or the several months’ delay in payment from the power utility when they supply to the State grid.

TASMA members own about 3,000 MW of wind energy generation capacity, that is over half the total wind mill capacity in Tamil Nadu, and nearly 40 per cent of this is sold to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, he said.

The details of the SPV are being worked and TASMA will set up a power division which will coordinate the establishment and operation of the SPV. Meanwhile, some of the members are trying to arrive at one-on-one agreements themselves, he said.

A long-term plan includes establishment of an independent power plant for the exclusive use by the spinning mills. The gas-based or coal-based plant close to a port is to be funded by the members.

These decisions met with strong support from the members at a recent meeting of the association.

Last month the power utility passed an order curtailing energy banking adjustment for HT consumers using wind mill energy. It also said the consumers could not purchase third party power or exchange power, and cannot wheel energy from wind mills and captive power plants during power holidays and load-shedding.

TASMA members went to court on this issue and have obtained a stay on this order.

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