TAMIL NADU

Wind power scheme fails to attract State entrepreneurs

T. Ramakrishnan

It offers generation-based incentive of 50 paise per unit



Incentive for projects with minimum installed capacity of 5 MW

Scheme to woo new and large independent power producers



CHENNAI: Entrepreneurs from Tamil Nadu, which has the highest share of wind power in the country in terms of installed capacity, have not responded positively to the Centre’s scheme of generation-based incentive (GBI) for wind power projects.

Enquiries with officials of the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and representatives of industry reveal no proposals have emanated from the State.

Under the scheme, an incentive of 50 paise per unit of electricity will be given for 10 years, in addition to the tariff determined by the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. The incentive will be available for projects with a minimum installed capacity of 5 MW.

Aimed at attracting new and large independent power producers, the scheme is meant for investors who are unable to absorb the benefit of accelerated depreciation. The projects should be established at wind potential sites validated by the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET) and should be commissioned after the formulation of the scheme.

Officials in the State government organisations say absence of accelerated depreciation and the provision for captive use are responsible for the poor reception. The State’s stupendous performance in the wind power sector is possible because of the availability of the two concessions to the private sector. Needless to say, the State’s potential is also high.

[Of the total potential of 45,195 MW in the country, Tamil Nadu accounts for 5,500 MW. According to the TNEB’s website, the State’s installed capacity is 3,903 MW including 17 MW of the Board.]

Representatives of the Indian Wind Power Association say the ceiling of 49 MW fixed under the scheme is the limiting factor. K. Kasthurirangaian, vice-chairman of the association, says the body has suggested to the Ministry to remove the ceiling. He has been informed by the authorities concerned that the suggestion has been conveyed to the Union Planning Commission. Another industry representative says when the proposed tariff of the TNERC [Rs. 3.40 per unit] takes effect, such a scheme will be beneficial to the industry.

A senior official of the MNRE says the response from other States has been overwhelming. The authorities have stopped receiving proposals for the project. The proposals received envisage a total of 350 MW. Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat are among the States that have evinced interest. Besides, the Ministry is addressing the issue of removal of the ceiling for incentive-linked wind power projects.

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