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Irregular payment drives away windmill investors

According to reports, as Coimbatore makes its stand as one of the main wind energy sites in Tamil Nadu, irregular payment of arrears by the state has affected the windmill owners severely. While wind power generation has played a key role in easing the dismal power situation of the state, that has a total installed capacity of about 7,000 mW, the long pending issue of non-payment of arrears has resulted in a reverse flow of windmill investors.

“Earlier, Tamil Nadu was the preferred destination for wind energy investments. Investors from various parts of India came here however, the situation has changed with people moving to other states for investment,” said K Kasthurirangaian, chairman of Indian Wind Power Association.

According to him, while half the windmill owners are generating power for their own use the other half sells the power to TANGEDCO. “Since October 2011 no payment was made by the TANGECO for the wind energy supplied to the grid. It was only this week some of the windmill owners started receiving their payments,” Kasthurirangaian added. He further said that the payments received by the investors were for a period of two to six months therefore, amount is still pending.

He also pointed out that windmill owners invest only 25 per cent of the total cost and the rest is from bank loans. Due to irregular payment from the state, windmill owners are struggling to repay the bank loans as well as maintain the wind farms. Thereby, driving away more investors.

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