According to reports, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention for obtaining approval for two of its wind energy projects and grant of Rs 1,500 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).
In a letter to Singh, she said an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) chaired by the Finance Secretary had on May 18 last has taken the stand that transmission schemes for renewable energy cannot be supported from the NCEF.
She noted that the two projects with a total cost of Rs 3,758 crore were already cleared by the Ministry of New and renewable Energy, Central Electricity Authority and recommended by the Union Planning Commission.
“It is distressing to find that the IMG is going against the Government of India’s guidelines to deny Tamil Nadu, which is a flagship state in harnessing clean renewable energy, the much needed support for a project which has for long been a felt need,” she said.
The Chief Minister said she completely failed to see the justification for the IMG’s stand and referred to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s letter to the Finance Ministry seeking to reconsider its stance.
“Being a State endowed with very limited conventional sources of energy, but with a high potential for renewables and an enviable track record of effectively harnessing such energy, Tamil Nadu fully deserves the support of Government of India to create the intra State ‘Green Energy Corridor,’” she contended.
The Government had proposed the projects to overcome the problem of lack of adequate power evacuation infrastructure which prevented the state from reaping the full benefit of installed capacity for wind energy generation, she said.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy validated two of the three proposals sent by the state at a total cost of Rs 3,758 crore and recommended approval of a grant of Rs 1,500 crore from the NCEF in accordance with the guidelines which limit assistance from the Fund to 40 per cent of the project cost.
The State Government has sought Rs 1,508 crore for establishing renewable power evacuation corridors in first phase, consisting of 400 KV substations along with associated transmission lines in five locations and another Rs 2,250 crore establishing similar facilities in the second phase at two locations.
“The third proposal for setting up 400 KV substations with associated transmission lines at Karaikudi and other places in the State is being executed with Tamil Nadu’s own resources,” Jayalalithaa said.
Tamil Nadu, pioneer in harnessing renewable energy with an installed capacity of 7,145 MW in wind power alone, plans to increase its capacity by another 5,000 MW in the next five years. It has also announced a Solar Policy aiming to install 3000 MW of solar power in the next three years.