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TASMA wants ban on sale of power outside Tamil Nadu to go

According to reports, the Tamil Nadu Government should lift the ban on sale of power outside the State to enable the power utility to exploit the idle generating capacities in the private sector and wind energy generation.

In a representation to the State Government, the Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association, which has members who have installed more than half of the 7,000 MW of wind generation capacity in Tamil Nadu, has urged it to withdraw the order limiting the sale of all power generation units to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board or to consumers with High Tension supply within the State.

The order GO MS No. 10, Energy (C3) passed on February 27, 2009, also dictates that the units should operate and maintain generating stations to maximum capacities and plant load factor.

So Independent Power Producers are not able to sell power outside the State even though the Electricity Act 2003 provides for such sale under the Inter-State Open Access Regulations.

The association has questioned the validity of the order. It pointed out that the Act allows State Governments to invoke such a ban only under extraordinary circumstances such as security threat to the State, natural calamities, public order related issues, which did not apply, the Association said in the representation to the Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa.

Due to payment default by the utility, the Independent Power Producers are not operating their units, as they cannot also sell power elsewhere.

The wind mills, which are in operation with the windy season in flow, have to back down as the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board is not able to absorb the power or sell to other States.

The board can sell the power when the wind mills generate power at times when there is no demand, particularly during the nights.

Under the prevailing condition the State is not able to fully utilise the installed generating capacities available with Independent Power Producers and wind mills.

Allowing power producers to sell power outside the State and fully utilising wind mill generation will help fully exploit the capacities and manage the power shortage, the association said.

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