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Tangedco hits ‘century’ in a 1st, sells wind power

According to reports,the state this week started sale of wind power, with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Tangedco) on Thursday and Friday trading more than 150MW with Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL), at a tariff of between Rs 5.25/unit and Rs 6/unit.

This is at a far remove from the situation only a couple of years ago, when private wind energy companies in the state blamed Tangedco for losses due to the discom’s failure to evacuate the power they generated.

“Wind power generation has increased since the southwest monsoon arrived,” a senior Tangedco official told TOI, adding that the discom had already set multiple records in wind power evacuation this year.

“Wind power generation hit a new high on Thursday evening and Tangedco evacuated 5,084MW or 105.2 million units of energy,” he said. “This is the first time that we have hit a century in terms of units of wind power evacuated.”

With lower than usual seasonal demand due to cooler weather across the state, Tangedco was left with a wind power surplus.

“We sold excess wind power after evacuating the maximum amount possible,” the official said. “The power exchange purchased more than 100MW of wind power from us in the past two days, with many other states not yet having fulfilled their renewable [energy] purchase obligations (RPOs).”

The discom now has the high tension lines available to evacuate wind power and power from other renewable sources such as solar energy. Tangedco can, as a result, now undertake transmission of wind power within the state and to other states as well.

Average wind power evacuation in Tamil Nadu this year has increased to nearly 3,500MW/day, an increase of nearly 1,000MW over recent years.

Under the Electricity Act, 2003, each state has to promote generation of electricity from renewable sources by achieving a certain percentage of its total power generation from these sources.

After the government in 2014 withdrew a five-year ban on inter-state power sale under the Electricity Act, producers in Tamil Nadu have been free to sell electricity to customers outside the state.

“Many states that have so far not met their RPOs have approached us to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources,” the Tangedco official said.
He said states like Goa and Uttarakhand are ready to purchase wind power from Tamil Nadu but want it at a tariff too low for the sale to be feasible for Tangedco. “Most northern states want wind power at Rs 3/ unit,” the official said. “It is not possible to sell wind power at that rate. The lowest price within Tamil Nadu is Rs 4/ unit.” While purchasing renewable power from the power exchange, however, these states will have to cough up more than Rs 6/unit. Experts say some states will have to purchase at least some power even that price to fulfil their RPOs.

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