TN to set up 50 Mw solar power project

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 10, 2011 05:44 hrs

Project will involve an investment of Rs 5,000 crore.

The Tamil Nadu government is planning to set up a 50-Megawatt (Mw) solar power generation project, as part of its efforts to make the state power surplus, said electricity minister, Natham R Viswanathan. It will generate an additional 416 Mw by January to stop the one-hour power cut in various parts of the state.

Inaugurating Energy '11, a one-day conference on sustainable energy, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), Viswanathan said, "Given that the state has considerable share in the country's wind, biomass and bagasse cogen capacity, we are also looking at developing capacity for solar power generation. Around 50 Mw capacity in solar would be developed through TNEDA (Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency)."

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On the conventional energy segment, a 210 Mw project in Tuticorin and another 100 Mw and 106 Mw projects are expected to go on stream before January 10 next year.

With this, the government would be able to bring down power cuts, he said.

The TNEDA would set up the 50- Mw solar power plant through two projects - a 30 Mw project and a 20 Mw project - for which tenders would be issued shortly, said Sudeep Jain, chairman and managing director, TNEDA.

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While one project would be based on photovoltaic, the other would be on thermal. The total investment for the project is expected to be around Rs 5,000 crore and would be located in the southern part of the state.

The authority is also planning to conduct a campaign from December 15 in around 1,000 colleges in 10 cities to implement roof top solar power generation. It would also float tenders for construction of 60,000 solar-powered green houses.

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Of the total power generation capacity of around 10,000 Mw in Tamil Nadu, almost 6,547 Mw -which accounts for around 60 per cent of the total capacity - is from wind power, said Kabilan, chairman, Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission.

However, the state still has to rely on conventional methods. With the price and import cost of coal going up, a tariff rate hike is inevitable to meet the expenses of coal-based power generation at least in the long-term, if not short-term.

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