Friday, 10 June 2016
Tamil Nadu allows energy companies to sell power outside the state
CHENNAI: Power plants in Tamil Nadu have been allowed to find customers outside the state through an order passed on Tuesday. However, the sour point lies in the details: power generators can transmit only that quantum of power not committed to the state utility through purchase agreements, which narrows down the quantum of power that can flow out of the state. To be reviewed in September, this order gives power producers limited time and visibility required to strikecontracts outside the state. "Nearly all of the wind power in the state is committed to the power utility Tangedco. If I have found a customer in Andhra Pradesh, I need to cancel my contract with the electricity board and make sale outside the state happen. My sense is that not much wind power will flow out the state unless the government itself wants to sell power during the wind season," a senior executive of a wind energy company in the state said. The move, however, is a beginning towards efficient power supply accommodation in a state that had cut off wind turbines because the exceeding supply had been a threat to grid stability. Wind entrepreneurs, who have borne the brunt of this backing down, admit that even though practical advantages are still to be seen, it is a welcome move. Spanish wind power developer Gamesa believes this is a sign of electricity management reform. "This is something I have been pushing for through the industry bodies for a long time... This is welcome," said Ramesh Kymal, who heads Gamesa in India, adding that this move will revolutionise investments into renewable energy in Tamil Nadu. With over Rs 6,000-crore of power developments in the state, approximately 1,000 MW, Gamesa is likely to look at further investments in the state. "This move is primarily to ensure surplus power is not wasted. Only those power producers who have no contracts to supply to the electricity board can export. Until now, no one has approached us for export," said an official with the state electricity utility, who wished to remain unnamed.
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