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Tamil Nadu to get funds for green corridor project

According to reports, Tamil Nadu may finally get its power transmission problems resolved with the Centre agreeing to fund a series of dedicated minor and major transmission projects for the renewable energy sector by including them under the Union government’s green energy corridor project.

Tamil Nadu, which has a severe shortage of transmission lines, will be the first beneficiary of the fund.

Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation (Tantransco) would get 125 million euros as a soft loan to put up green corridors for intra-state transmission, Alok Srivastava, joint secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy, said.

Tantransco is already working on a green corridor project between Chennai and Kayatharu in southern Tamil Nadu. Under the green energy corridor project, Tantransco will put up another transmission line between Theni and Salem, and a line between Pavurchatram and Kovilpatti in southern Tamil Nadu. About Rs 600 crore would be spent to connect the Pavurchatram-Kovilpatti line to Kayatharu and also build other small feeder lines between major lines, S Akshaya Kumar, chairman of Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission said.

The funds for this will come from a 1 billion euro loan given to ministry by KfW , a German bank. The ministry , since last December, has been working with Germany and the US to set up green energy corridors in India.

The allocation of funds for TN follows finance minister Arun Jaitley’s budget announcement last week.

“Implementation of green energy corridor projects will be accelerated this financial year to facilitate evacuation of renewable energy across the country,” he said.

TN was heavily affected by lack of transmission lines to evacuate power from plants in one part of the state to regions that require power. Despite the availability of power, especially from windmills with a capacity of more than 7,000MW, TN lost over 2.1 billion kwh of power last year alone due to lack of transmission infrastructure, it is estimated.

“The commissioning of the transmission lines will help improve the power situation in Chennai as power generated from windmills in the southern part can be transmitted to the rest of the state and to Chennai, which are power starved,” said K Venkatachalam, chief adviser of Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association, which owns most windmills in the state.

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