CHENNAI: Wind power consumption in Tamil Nadu has reached a record high. Since May 15, when the wind power season started, the state has consumed 6,087 lakh million units, which is several times more than the wind power consumption in 2014 and 2015. On an average, about 22% of the power requirement in the state over the past three months has been met by wind energy.
Due to commissioning of transmission lines as part of the green corridor from Kayathar in Tuticorin district to Kancheepuram as well as another line in the western districts, the wind power evacuation has increased. On an average, nearly 4,000MW of wind power is being evacuated daily during the present wind season, especially during evening hours.
“Apart from the Kayathar line, we have also commissioned Coimbatore-Rasipalayam-Balavadi transmission line to evacuate wind power. To the extent possible, we have replaced thermal power with wind energy,” said a senior Tangedco official.
Tangedco has also set up a Renewable Energy Management Centre (REMC) within its load dispatch centre. This helps the dispatch centre forecast wind power generation and regulate production at thermal plants. “The officials at the centre are positive about harnessing wind energy to the maximum, utilising scientific forecasting by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and data from the 117 pooling substations of the windmill farms,” he said.
With the wind energy generation going up, Tangedco has stopped purchase of power from private thermal power companies, thereby saving several crores of rupees. “We have stopped purchase of 900MW from private thermal companies. The cost of each unit from these companies is around Rs 5.10, but we get wind energy at Rs 4.10 per unit,” he said.
Meanwhile, on August 16, wind power evacuation in Tamil Nadu reached a record high of 4,715MW, accounting for 33% of the total energy evacuated on that day, chairman of the Indian Wind Power Association, K Kasthurirangan told TOI.
“The average evacuation has been between 4,200 and 4,300MW this season. High amount of evacuation is due to the forecasting and scheduling system installed at wind mills,” he said. During previous years, Tamil Nadu was not able to evacuate much of the wind energy generated in the state owing to poor evacuation facilities, he said.