After Gujarat recently outperformed Tamil Nadu in the wind energy sector, the State is hopeful to regain the top position while leveraging various sector-specific initiatives, especially its repowering policy.

“Recently Gujarat has overtaken Tamil Nadu in wind energy installations. We are confident that with our wind energy repowering policy, which will come soon, and other proposed initiatives, the state will regain its Numero Uno position in the wind energy sector in the country,” Rajesh Lakhoni, Chairman and Managing Director of TANGEDCO said while addressing a session at the Windergy India 2023 conference here.

As of August 31, 2023, Gujarat’s installed capacity in the wind energy sector stood at 11,063 MW, while Tamil Nadu’s installed capacity in the sector was 10,248 MW.

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Discussing the wind energy sector’s prospects, Lakhoni said Tamil Nadu has a unique advantage of getting wind power on an RTC (round the clock) basis for four months, and in no other states this is possible. “So, for four months, we can shut down some coal plants and inject more green power into the grid,” he added.

High green power supply

Though Tamil Nadu is not the leader in overall renewable power installations in the country, the state was feeding a higher quantum of green power into the grid than any other state. Green power makes up about 22 per cent of the grid power, which is the highest in the country, and the share is expected to go up further in the coming years with proposed plans.

TANGEDCO is also working on programmes that will incentivise the solar power sector to provide power on an RTC basis for the remaining eight months.

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Lakhoni said offshore wind power also carried the potential to provide power on an RTC basis for 6-7 months. The operationalisation of a proposed offshore wind energy project, will ensure Tamil Nadu relying on green power for the grid during last eight months of the year, during which coal-based plants could be made non-functional.

Explaining the proposed wind repowering policy, he said a second draft of this policy, which has incorporated suggestions from the industry stakeholders, would be unveiled soon.

In the repowering policy, the government is trying to address some challenges as large development of wind capacity may result in loss of captive status for some of the industrial units.

Effective wind forecasting model needed

Stating that the present wind forecasting model was “ineffective”, Lakhoni urged wind power industry to work jointly for preparing an “accurate” model Forecasting should include both wind speed and wind power locations. However, the current model doesn’t focus on wind power locations. An effective forecasting model will be a driving force for the wind sector in Tamil Nadu, he added.

He also said that TANGEDCO was inviting suggestions from the wind power industry to come out with a modified banking model or incentive scheme so that repowering in Tamil Nadu takes off well.

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Earlier, he discussed how Tamil Nadu followed a unique model in wind energy development. In other states, large wind farms account for the bulk of the wind energy capacity whereas, in Tamil Nadu, about 65 per cent of the wind energy capacity (about 8000 MW) is owned by individual industrial units or small companies for captive consumption.

“This is a unique model as captive wind energy capacity helps industries to hedge their power cost for a longer term. This unique model can be emulated by others,” said Lakhoni.