Nearly 5 years after the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy came out with a policy on the re-powering of windmills, the state has shown interest in the policy which will benefit it the most. Re-powering refers to the replacement of old and inefficient turbines by the new and more efficient ones in an attempt to increase the installed capacity as well as the power generation.
Prof Dr K Kasthurirangaian, chairman, Indian Wind Power Association, said that both the Union and the state government were dormant on re-energising windmills. “It will be good if it was done. The majority of the older windmills that requires re-powering were in Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Kasthurirangaian said that the main reason for the policy not implemented was due to the condition that the additional generation through the re-powered windmills should be sold to the discoms. “Windmills owners wanted the generation to be used by themselves or sold to the third party instead of discoms. The discoms pay lowest cost and payment is delayed by two years. This is the reasons for the policy not taking off,” he said.
G Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal said windmills installed in the wind-rich states were based on the technology available in the 1980s with low-generation capacity. “Those windmills had a capacity of mere 200 kilowatts while the modern ones have eight-megawatt capacity. But, in Tamil Nadu, the wind-rich sites were installed with windmills of capacity ranging from 200 to 500 kW thirty years ago. In those sites, we can install high capacity windmills whose hub height can go up to 120 m and it can generate more energy,” he added.