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Andhra Pradesh yet to tap full potential of wind power

According to reports, to overcome the shortage of electricity, the state government is encouraging its production from non-conventional sources, especially wind, and has sanctioned six wind power projects in Anantapur district this year.

These will come up at Nallakonda (20 MW), Singanamala (4 MW), Rekulakuntapally (4.25 MW), Animala (80 MW), Pallakonda Hills (60 MW) and Tallimadugula (18 MW).

Projects with a combined wind power generation capacity of about 202.10 MW were  commissioned in the state during 2012-13 and projects of 17.90 MW till now in the current financial year.

Aaccording to a study, the estimated gross potential of wind power generation in the state is 14,497 MW. Thirty-two locations have been notified for wind power generation, most of them in the southern part of the state _ Anantapur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Chittoor and Nellore districts.

About 2,846.12 MW capacity wind power projects have been sanctioned by the Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited (NEDCAP), the sanctioning authority in the state, out of which projects of about 498.62 MW have been commissioned till June 30 this year.

These have come up at at Ramagiri (51.74 MW), Tallimadugula (5 MW), Kadavakallu (43.45 MW), Rekulakunta (5.95 MW), Vajrakarur (90.30 MW) and in Nallakonda (84.80 MW) in Anantapur district; at Kondamedapalli (88.75 MW) in  Kurnool district; at Gandikota (65.10 MW) and Tirumalayapalli (54 MW) in Kadapa district; at Kakulakonda (7.03 MW) in Chittoor district; and at Narasimhakonda (2.50 MW)  in Nellore district.

Although Andhra Pradesh is considered to have a big potential for wind power generation, it is not able to live up to the expectation.

Though the central and  state governments are encouraging wind power generation by providing incentives,  private producers are not able to commission the projects within the stipulated time. According to officials, if a wind project gets all the required sanctions it should not take more than six months to commission it.

“The state has a potential to tap wind to generate about 15,000 MW of power but lower tariff, obstacles in getting clearances and the need for power purchase agreements are discouraging independent power producers,” say NEDCAP officials.

To set up a 1 MW of wind power plant, about Rs 6 crore investment is needed. India produces about 19,051 MW of wind power at present though it has a potential to produce at least 49,100 MW.

The wind power production programme in India was initiated towards the end of the Sixth Plan in 1983-84. The programme aim was to catalys commercialisation of wind power generation in the country.

The Wind Resources Assessment Programme was  being implemented through the State Nodal Agencies, Field Research Unit of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM-FRU) and Center for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET).

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