India Wind Power Association moves Tribunal challenging Tamil Nadu’s move to buy thermal power

 The India Wind Power Association (IWPA), a representative of wind energy producers, has launched a fresh challenge against the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to buy thermal power, instead of using available wind power, to tide over shortages.

On Thursday, the association moved the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, the appeals body, challenging an earlier ruling against it by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission.

“Tangedco (the state-run power generation and distribution company) is buying from outside costly thermal power even during the windy months of May to September by backing down wind mills eight to 22 hours daily and refusing to give the ‘must run’ status to wind mills, calling it infirm power,” K Kasthurirangaian, chairman of IWPA, told ET.

Infirm power is considered interruptible at a very short notice.

Wind energy producers feel hard-done by the absence of a ‘must run’ status, having lost an opportunity to sell their power. Already, they have been hit hard by long delayed dues that the utility owes them.

State government officials couldn’t be reached for comments.

The tussle between wind energy producers and the state comes at a time when the latter is trying to address a huge problem in the electricity sector. Tamil Nadu faces a huge shortage of power and the state-run utility is neck-deep in debt.

The grouse of wind energy players, once the state’s darlings, also manifests itself at a time when the Tamil Nadu is aggressively wooing solar developers, following a plan to add 3 gigawatt of solar power in three years.

According to data available with the Centre for Wind Energy Technology, Tamil Nadu is still the leader in wind power installed capacity. It accounts for 40% of the country’s total installed capacity of over 18 gigawatt.

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