Tamil Nadu

Wind industry in TN worried about poor maintenance of transmission infrastructure

A silhouette of wind turbines in Tamil Nadu. File

A silhouette of wind turbines in Tamil Nadu. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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“If the lack of maintenance continues for a few years, the wind industry’s efforts will be of no use,” said A.D. Thirumoorthy, chief technical advisor, IWPA.

The Indian Wind Power Association (IWPA) is worried over lack of maintenance of transmission infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and wants immediate action.

“If the lack of maintenance continues for a few years, the wind industry efforts in forecasting, scheduling etc would be of no use,” said A.D. Thirumoorthy, chief technical advisor, IWPA.

In Tamil Nadu, there are 130 substations where wind mills are pre-dominantly connected. Of these, nearly 20 substations are owned, manned and operated by Independent Power Producers. Another 100-odd substations are manned by Tangedco, according to a study by IWPA.

Wind power has to be injected to the main grid, immediately after generation, through the feeders and the sub-stations. “Wind generators are connected to the substation through 11KV or 33KV lines, mostly 33/kv lines and 99% of these are overhead lines. These lines and sub-stations are almost three decades old. If left unattended and unmaintained, frequent faults happen, especially during the high wind season,” Mr. Thirumoorthy pointed out.

Poles, lines and insulators tend to fail during high winds, and breakdown occurs. Identification of the faults and the restoration of LT feeders take up 10 hours, sometimes even days due to lack of manpower, logistics and spares, he pointed out. Such is the condition of about 8500 MW capacity infrastructure in Tamil Nadu, with ₹50,000 crore investments at stake, according to IWPA .

“We pay monthly operation and maintenance charges to maintain the feeders and transformers. For example, in a sub-station we pay more than ₹10 lakh. If atleast 10% of that is spent towards maintenance there will not be any issue,” Mr. Thirumoorthy suggested.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:13:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/wind-industry-in-tn-worried-about-poor-maintenance-of-transmission-infrastructure/article30521483.ece

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