Two transmission corridors for evacuation of wind power at 400 KV level are to be set up as part of a programme to strengthen the transmission infrastructure in Tamil Nadu. To fund this, TANTRANSCO, the State transmission arm, is preparing to ask the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for Rs 4,100 crore out of the National Clean Energy Fund. TANTRANSCO has also approached Rural Electrification Corporation for funds.

One of the corridors will originate at Kayatharu in the south and terminate at Chennai. The other one will stretch from Theni and go up to Dharmapuri, a senior official of TANTRANSCO told Business Line today.

The two corridor projects will take six months to commence and at least one of them would be completed in two years, the official said.

One of the projects is proposed to be taken up as a public-private-partnership venture, he said.

Clean Energy Fund

It is not clear as to whether the Rs 4,100 crore sought from the National Clean Energy Fund is a grant or a soft loan. Sources said that TANTRANSCO has just asked for the funds and what shape it might take has yet to be seen.

In fact, TANTRANSCO's original request was for Rs 3,800 crore. This was forwarded to the MNRE about a couple of months back. However, the Ministry is said to have asked for some “changes” in the proposal. These changes have caused an upward revision of the demand, sources said.

Last week, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission asked the Chairman of TANTRANSCO whether evacuation of wind power would be affected when the Kudankulam nuclear power project goes on stream (expected by the end of this year). To this, TANTRANSCO replied that while it would take two years for the “wind corridor” to come up, “in the interim period, some local arrangements will have to be made for evacuation of wind power.”

Asked about this, the TANTRANSCO official told Business Line today that any transmission constraint would arise only after the second unit of Kudankulam goes on stream, which would take a year more. The present infrastructure is adequate to pull power out of the first unit (1,000 MW) without affecting wind power generation.

55 substations

The official said that over the next five years, TANTRANSCO plans to put up 55 substations of 230 kv capacity each. In addition, five substations of 400 KV would be put up around Chennai – funding for this is sought from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JAICA). These five will come up at Thervoikondigai, Koratur, Manali, Sholinganallur and Guindy.