Chennai: Wind power generators in the state have welcomed the policy on repowering of wind power projects released by ministry of new and renewable energy to promote optimum utilisation of wind energy resources but wants the ministry to clear “some hurdles” in its implementation.
The policy, in particular, will be of help to revive investors interest in Tamil Nadu, which has highest wind mills installed capacity in the country with 7,600 MW, as the state has about 2,000 MW of windmills with a generating capacity of less than one MW.
Repowering refers to 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.
“Most of the wind-turbines installed up to 2,000 are of capacity below 500 kilowatt (kW) and are at sites having high wind energy potential. It is estimated that over 3,000 MW capacity installations are from wind turbines of around 500 kW or below. Repowering is required to optimally utilise the wind energy resources,” according to the repowering policy. It adds, “Initially wind turbine generators of capacity one MW and below would be eligible for repowering under the policy. Based on the experience, MNRE can extend the repowering policy to other projects also.”
S. Gomathinayagam, director-general of National Institute of Wind Energy, said Tamil Nadu, which has already the highest wind installed capacity accounts for most number of old wind turbines. “Because we started wind turbines in 1980s, there will be a lot of old wind turbines which operate inefficiently. Certainly, this policy will give some quick changes for repowering,” he told DC welcoming the new repowering policy.
The Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA), while welcoming the policy, said the concessional interest rate offered by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) over and above the interest rate rebates available to new wind projects financed by IREDA will help boost investment in the wind energy sector.
“Accelerated Depreciation (AD) and Generation Based Incentive (GBI) are also made available to the repowering projects as per the conditions applicable to the new wind power projects,” D.V. Giri, secretary-general, IWTMA, noted.
In case of power being procured by discoms through PPA, the policy allows the power generated corresponding to average of last three years generation prior to repowering would be continued to be procured as per existing agreement and remaining power would be either purchased by the discom at feed-in-tariff applicable at the time of commissioning or they would be allowed to sell power to third party.
K. Kasthurirangaian, chairman, Indian Wind Power Association, said he welcomes the new policy but there are several hurdles to be addressed before its implementation. He said Tamil Nadu has about 2000 MW of wind mills with a generating capacity of less than one MW. “Through repowering of all the wind mills of less than a mega watt capacity, Tamil Nadu could add new generation capacity of up to 1500 MW,” he said, adding that to achieve this, certain hurdles should be removed.
“The old wind mill projects should be allowed to increase its generation capacity,” he said, adding that though the policy states that placing of wind turbines 5Dx7D criteria would be relaxed for micro sitting, it had not been clearly stated.
“The Tangedco should relax the spacing norms,” he said, adding all power generated after repowering should be paid the tariff applicable at the time of commissioning. “We are planning to take up these issues with MNRE to make certain changes in its new policy,” he said, urging the Tamil Nadu government to relax the spacing norms to achieve its target of adding 5000 MW new wind power capacity by 2023....