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The Tamil Nadu government is set to make a tidy profit through the sale of wind power, with power distribution companies in other states seeking Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's (TNEB) aid to bail them out of their renewable power purchase obligation (RPO). The RPO stipulates that 0.16-0.25% of the total power generation of a state (differing from state to state) should be met from renewable energy sources.
Of more than 10 states that have not met their RPO, four have sought the help of Tamil Nadu, which has the maximum installed renewable power generation capacity. It is reliably learnt that Tangedco is likely to sell about 1,000MW wind power to Uttarakhand, to start with, at 4.1 per unit. Tangedco, which purchases wind power at 3.35 per unit from private generation firms, will earn a profit of 75 paise per unit by selling the power.
According to the Electricity Act 2003, each state has to meet a percentage of power generated in the state annually through renewable power like wind and solar. "Now that the Tamil Nadu government has lifted section 11 of the Electricity Act, we can sell power to other states. Many states which have not met the RPO so far have approached us. The first state to seek wind power is Uttarakhand," a senior Tangedco official told TOI.
If a state does not fulfill the renewable purchase obligation, it will have to pay penal provisions, which include the cutting of central allocation of power to the state. TNEB is taking the help of Southern Regional Load Despatch Centre (SRLDC) and National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) to identify states which have not met the RPO so far. "We can even sell at 5.50 per unit to states which need renewable power but we are ready to offer it at 4.1 per unit. We have approached SRLDC and NLDC to tell us which states are looking for renewable power," said the official.
Tamil Nadu has stopped purchasing power from short term private power companies after the wind season started. "Even without short term power purchase, we can meet the demand as all thermal units of Tangedco and long-term companies are available. Since we have met our RPO, we decided to sell wind power to other states," said the official. Power demand is also less now in Tamil Nadu compared to two months ago due to better weather.
Wind power companies are happy to sell power to other states. "We came to know about Tangedco's decision a few days back and we were excited. It will help many small companies which have less than 2MW capacity to earn some income. With transmission lines available between various states, it is easy to transmit power to other states," a wind power company chief said.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the state power utility set a new record by meeting more than 1/4th of its power supply through wind energy. "On Thursday, out of the 320 million units (MU) of power consumption in Tamil Nadu, 84MU was from wind power. This is a record for Tangedco," said the Tangedco official.
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