Saturday, March 17, 2012

Solar power generation in Tamil Nadu to cross 3,000 MW by 2015-16


Chennai, Mar 16: Natham R Viswanathan, minister for non-conventional energy development said, Tamil Nadu will soon come out with a new policy on solar power to generate 3,000 MW by 2015-16 in RENERGY 2012.
Saying that the State has received only 22 MW out of the 1,000 MW capacity under the Phase I of National Solar Mission, he requested the centre to address the inequality by recognising the huge potential for solar power in Tamil Nadu.
The state was planning to roll out the country’s largest rooftop solar power programme by powering 300,000 houses and 100,000 street lights through solar power. According to Viswanathan, the state government will promote small rooftop solar power systems as well as encourage wind-solar hybrid installations.
RENERGY 2012, an international conference on renewable energy organised by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) was held on Monday. Several wind power companies that participated in Renergy 2012, a renewable energy event, have said that despite having 6,300 MW of wind power capacity – about 40 per cent of the total installed capacity in the country – Tamil Nadu has still a lot of good sites to offer.
CLP India, a Hong Kong-based company is the largest foreign investor in India’s power sector, has 99 MW of wind assets in Theni, Tamil Nadu. The company wanted to add capacity here, but power evacuation issues have caused the company to wait and watch.
Manikaran Power is yet another company which is planning a major push into the renewable energy sector, with plans for 500 MW of wind assets.
In spite of short-term challenges in Tamil Nadu that include evacuation and delays in payment, the State continues to be an attractive proposition for wind farms. This is because the State still has some of the best wind sites.
Speaking at a panel discussion at Renergy 2012, both Mr Giri and Mr Sunil Jain of Green Infra, said that land acquisition was the easiest in Rajasthan. They also said that while Tamil Nadu was okay, Maharashtra and Karnataka were pretty bad.
Indian Wind Power Association Chairman K Kasturirangan said that the Centre should continue the two decade-old tax rebate regime for investments made in setting up wind mills.

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