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Wind energy generation in Tamil Nadu picks up to between 3-3.5GW- curbs unplanned outages

Last week, apart from the scheduled duration of three-hour load shedding,residents of Madurai and southern districts were experiencing another spell of power cuts for three hours in the day time besides one more hour in the late night hours. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation blamed the increase in unscheduled load shedding on the sudden decline in power generation from wind mills.Power generation from wind mills fell from 3,575 MW on Friday (July13) evening to 147 MW on early hours of Monday(July16).

TANGEDCO officials said that a power generation of at least 3,000 MW from wind mills was needed to manage the power grid without increased load shedding. According to reports, with the sudden drop in wind velocity two days ago, residents were apprehensive about having to face unscheduled power cuts again. Fortunately, strong winds were back again as of Thursday, generating adequate power to meet demand.

On June 16 and 17, the wind velocity dropped to its minimum generating just 15 million units of power against the average daily generation of 75 million units. Following the power shortage due to this sudden dip in the wind, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited appealed to residents to bear any unscheduled power cuts. The situation had raised concerns among consumers, especially industries in the Coimbatore circle who were largely affected by the unscheduled power cuts.

But regaining strength the strong winds blowing through the Palakkad gap helped to operate the windmills to its maximum capacity and generate about 3000 MW of energy on Wednesday and 3500 MW on Thursday.

K Kasturinrangan, Chairman, Indian Wind Power Association, said that there were previous incidences of sudden drop in wind velocity, but generally the wind regained its strength in a short period. The windmills produced 62 million units on Wednesday. By the end of October, the wind strength will reduce slowly, he said.

A Thangavelu, chief engineer, Coimbatore region, said that there were plans for unscheduled and even total power cuts, had the low wind situation continued. However on Wednesday and Thursday the situation improved and the decision was revoked. However, no one knows for how long the situation would continue. The government is taking initiatives to generate another 2300 MW by the beginning of next year. This would help cut down the unscheduled power cuts, he added.

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