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Tamil Nadu power crisis: Resurrection blueprint underway

According to reports, to tide over the power crisis, the state government now plans to invest over Rs 67,000 crore in various generation and transmission projects; with Rs 3410 crore investment announced this month itself. The Tamil Nadu government has come under heavy criticism for its failure to contain the power crisis in the state. While wind energy had provided a temporary two-month respite to citizens sweating it out in the summer heat, power cuts are now back in full force report CNBC-TV18’s Poornima Murali and Archana Shukla.

Tamil Nadu is bracing for dark days ahead; already reeling under a peak power shortage of 4000 MW,the Central Electricity Authority now expects The states deficit to increase to 5099 MW in 2013-2014.

As the combined impact of poor planning, lack of infrastructure, a bleeding state electricity board (SEB) and  non commissioning of new projects by both public and private sectors, render Tamil Nadu powerless.

Abdul Majeed, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers said, “It’s a combination of planning and execution which has not been properly factored into. The result of which is that now we have moved from power surplus to power deficit state.”

Tamil Nadu’s failure to recharge its wind energy sector. Despite being the largest base for wind energy in India, the state reported a 91 per cent drop in attracting investments for the sector from Rs 7,000 crore in 2012-13 to just Rs 600 crores this year.

While wind energy had helped reduce power cuts over the last two months; infrastructure bottle necks and non-payment of dues by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to wind firms meant the respite was only temporary.

“Roughly about 30% of electricity that goes into the system comes from wind but we can give more because 7000 MW with plant load factor which is very high during the high wind season, we can give about 5000-6000 MW. Rest is going waste because transmission system is not there,” says Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and MD, Gamesa.

To tide over the power crisis, the state government now plans to invest over Rs 67,000 crore in various generation and transmission projects; with Rs 3410 crore investment announced this month itself. The government hopes to add 6000 MW of power in the next two years. Additionally it plans to purchase 1000 MW of power daily from the open market for the next 15 years.

It is also in the process of partially bailing out the TNEB from its massive Rs 53,000 crore debt.

However, as of now there is no immediate respite for industry and residents in the state, who are still subjected to daily power outages. According to critics solving this mess will take the government years.

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