Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), after a process of consultation spread over 10 months, has enhanced the tariff for procurement of wind energy from Rs.2.90 per unit to Rs.3.39 per unit with effect from April 1, 2009.

Announcing this, the Commission, in an official release, stated that it convened a conference of experts in July 2008. A consultative paper was circulated five months later, inviting comments from stakeholders.

The State Advisory Committee considered the paper in February 2009. A public hearing was organised on March 5. The Commission determined the tariff last in May 2006, the release said.

Emphasising the need for reversing the trend of decline in wind energy capacity addition, the Commission said Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka were, of late, attracting investments. One of the reasons was the attractive tariff offered by them.

“Even the enhanced tariff of Rs.3.39 per unit is lower than those of Maharashtra and Karnataka and marginally higher than those of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh,” the panel said.

At present, Tamil Nadu accounts for 43 per cent of the installed wind capacity in the country with 4,133 MW out of 9,586 MW.

Pointing out that “wind energy is cheap, available in plenty and environment friendly,” the Commission said that this form of energy came to the rescue of the State during the difficult months of 2008.

While thermal plants took three to four years to ‘mature’, wind energy generators required three-six months to install new capacity. The new capacities could provide quick relief to the State, which was faced with severe shortage.