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JUL 18 2013

Power regulators rule on forecasting divides wind industry

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Thu 18th JUL 2013

The producers are allowed a 30 per cent deviation from the schedules, either way. If the deviation is beyond the 30 per cent band, they will be charged a penalty that would depend upon the frequency of electricity flowing on the grid at that point in time.

The idea is to provide the grid operators (the various state load despatch centres) better visibility of the power coming from the wind mills the next day, for better grid discipline. The issue has divided the industry.

One view is that the timing of the requirement is not right, given that the wind power producers are facing multiple problems.

In the biggest wind power State, Tamil Nadu, the grid is simply not available to transmit wind power. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, the State distribution companies are not signing fresh power purchase agreements.

According to Sunil Jain, President, Wind Independent Power Producers Association of India, windmills of total capacity of about 500 MW ready to be commissioned are standing idle because of this.

Jain also said that the penalties would chip away about 12 per cent of the wind power companies profits.

Opponents of scheduling and forecasting (mostly wind power producers) also feel that there is little point in giving a forecast for the next day, when the availability of the grid itself is uncertain. Many developers feel that they should go to the Courts to secure a stay against the CERC order.

On the other hand, others in the industry (mostly turbine manufacturers) note that CERC has already given enough time the Commission started the exercise in 2009 and was keen on bringing it into force from January 2011, but put it off twice at the behest of the industry.

Secondly, the Commission has not only given the 30 per cent allowance within which there would be no penalty, but has also allowed the producers to revise their schedules eight times during the day.

With this concession, the amount of penalty would not be as much as the 12-15 per cent as feared, the official said.

The point of view of this side is that there is not point in taking the Commission to Court and let it harden its stance against the industry.

Manufacturers spoke only off-the-record as they did not wish to offend their own clients.

However, in a guarded statement issued to Business Line, Suzlon has said: "While there may be implementation challenges in the short termexperts see this as a major step in further integrating wind energy with the grid.

Tags

Gujarat Maharashtra Tamil Nadu Independent Power Producers Suzlon Carbon Emission Reduction Central Electricity Regulatory Commission Wind Power India

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