Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Theni has good potential for wind power generation

THENI: With high potential for wind power generation and availability of large tracts of open land and an excellent climate, several new companies, including foreign wind power units, have been thronging the district for setting up of windmills.

Such an overwhelming enthusiasm has resulted in sharp increase in the number of wind power units in the district.

The total number of functioning windmills now has gone up to 210, which was just 85 in May 2010. Gandamanur, Rasingapuram, Kamatchipuram and Andipatti are some potential pockets in the district that already have several clusters of wind power turbines.

Besides, 40 wind power turbines were commissioned and waiting for grid connectivity. Proposals had also been sent to the Government for commissioning of many more new turbines in the months to come.

The Spain-based wind turbine manufacturer had been developing large scale wind farms swiftly in Theni, besides Coimbatore, said TNEB officials.

At the same time, power generation through wind turbines has also been increasing sizably with sudden increase in flow and velocity of the wind from the Western Ghats this season.

At present, wind power generating turbines have been generating 100 MW a day. However, the power generation touched its peak of 160 MW in some days.

Power production would go up in the months to come as velocity of wind would also increase in peak summer, said experts.

If this trend continued, Theni would soon become one of the main hubs of wind power generation in the State, said TNEB engineers.

With poor hydel power generation at the Lower Camp near Goodalur, the wind energy has been balancing the loss of power generation through the hydel power.

But such a rapid development of wind energy industry has sent shock waves among farming community and environmentalists across the district.

Massive and rapid acquisition of agriculture lands for commissioning turbines has not only catapulted land value beyond imagination but also shrunk cultivation areas as Theni is basically an agrarian district, feeding milk, grains, fruit and vegetables to different parts of the State and meeting major requirements of Kerala.

But wind energy experts said that 10 square metre of land will suffice to set up one unit. Besides, power lines and towers too will occupy only a small portion of land.

Source: The Hindu : Tamil Nadu News : Theni has good potential for wind power generation

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