According to reports, residents of Coimbatore are breathing easy this summer, thanks to wind power. Winds mills have been contributing 3,200MW daily to the grid for the past one week that the city had gone without outages for the past five days. However, industries continue to face 40% of cut in the supply. Wind power producers say that this can be reduced substantially if the entire power generated by them is utilized by the state electricity board. About 1,000MW of power generated by wind mills is not being evacuated, they claimed.
“If the power cuts imposed on industries is reduced, the wind power that is not being evicted now, can be absorbed by the grid, and this would not only result in full utilization of wind power but also help reduce power cuts in industries,” said K Kasthoorirangaian, chairman, Indian Wind Power Association (IWPA).
He also added that the Tamil Nadu state has a peak wind energy production capacity of 7,165MW. Now, the wind mills are generating 3,200MW daily. During the day time, the electricity sub-stations are not evacuating wind energy for at least four hours and during night for at least six hours. “We can use the wind energy till September. Officials should take action for evacuating the entire wind energy,” said Kasthoorirangaian.
According to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), the Coimbatore circle covers three districts including Coimbatore, Tirupur and the Nilgiris. The total power requirement of the circle varies from 1,500MW to 1,700MW. Over 900MW to 1,000MW is provided by hydel and thermal power plants. Wind takes care of the rest.
A senior officer from TANGEDCO, Coimbatore circle, said they intend to reduce the power cuts for the industry as well in the coming days. “Over 5,000 micro industries were closed for the last four years due to severe power cuts. There have been no cuts to the micro industries in the past four days,” said J James, district president, Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Micro Enterprises (TACT).
The peak wind season begins in May and extends to October. This year, the advent of Cyclone Mahasen has ensured strong winds that too ahead of the season. The strong cyclonic winds also led to sporadic rains across the state and strong winds in the south. Mahasen crossed Bangladesh on Thursday and is reportedly battering the coast and the delta there.