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Tamil Nadu discom could look forward to tapping renewable energy to its fullest potential of 15,000 MW (including 2,000 MW that is being installed) two years from now when a dedicated inter-state green power corridor becomes operational. Union power minister Piyush Goyal had recently said in the Lok Sabha that work on the Rs 11,369 crore corridor had started and it was expected to be ready by May 2019.
In the light of many states falling short of meeting their renewable power obligation targets, Tamil Nadu's surplus renewable power generation could be of high demand in the market.
"The inter-state transmission network scheme is being implemented by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). About 30% (Rs 3,410 crore) of the cost will be in the form of equity and 70% will be concessional loan (Rs 5,203 crore from German-based KfW and Rs 2,756 crore from Asian Development Bank)," said Goyal in a reply to Chidambaram MP M Chandrakasi.
As part of the green corridor, the PGCIL will be setting up 6 sub-stations with a total capacity of 18,000MVA. States like Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh either have separate green corridors or are setting up such corridors to evacuate wind and solar power within those states.
"The intra-state green corridors are being set up within the states at a total cost of Rs 10,141 crore. In these states, sub-stations will be set up with a total capacity of 19,000MVA and the intra-state green corridors will be completed by March 2020," said the minister.
In Tamil Nadu, the green corridor starts from Tuticorin district and ends in Kancheepuram district. "Our green corridor from Kayathar to Ottiyamapakkam is almost complete. There are a few issues which are being solved and most probably, in a few months, the corridor will be fully operational," a senior Tangedco official said.
Former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in 2016, sought a separate green corridor connecting Tamil Nadu and other states to sell wind, solar and nuclear power to energy-deficit states. Renewable purchase obligation refers to the obligation imposed by law on some entities to either buy electricity generated by specified green sources, or buy, in lieu of that, 'renewable energy certificates (RECs)' from the market.
As of now, several wind and solar companies are accusing state discoms of charging high tariff for using their transmission facilities. "The charges for using transmission facilities are quite high. We are doubtful whether firms can sustain solar and wind projects at low tariffs," said Siemens Gamesa Renewable Power CMD Ramesh Kymal.
Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers' Association wants the Centre to open access for all renewable power companies to sell power across the country. "We want the Centre to waive the central transmission utility tariff on renewable power companies so that any renewable company will be able to sell power to any state discom without any additional cost," IWTMA secretary general D V Giri told TOI.
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