Wind power plants – set up

Guest Post

Wind energy is receiving attention as a clean and perpetual source of energy. India has already emerged as the fifth largest amongst the wind energy producing countries in the world with an installed capacity of around 13,000 MW. With various incentives and encouragement provided by the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES), capacity addition in the wind energy industry looks to accelerate from the level of 1.3 MW achieved in the last year.

The major wind energy producing states in India are the states of the southern peninsula. Tamil Nadu leads with over 4900 MW installed as of March 2010. Maharashtra and Gujarat each has close to 2000 MW, Karnataka has around 1500 MW and Rajasthan around 1100 MW. Madhya Pradesh and Andhra have just started to encourage the installation of wind turbines. The reasons for the peninsular states leading the pack is primarily because wind velocities are most favorable for power generation along the coastal areas. In Tamil Nadu, additional generation has been possible in the region around Coimbatore, where the terrain causes a wind funnel effect. Most of the northern states have low wind speeds and were considered unsuitable for wind power generation.

The designs of wind turbines have been improved in recent years to enable higher power output. While the earlier installations were in the 100 to 200 Kilowatt capacity, presently wind turbines of over 2 Megawatt have been installed in India. Globally, even larger turbines of 5 Megawatt have been deployed. Coupled with higher power capacities, wind turbine blade geometry and controls have improved, making power generation possible even at lower wind speeds. Previously wind speeds of 12 to 15 kmph were needed, but the newer turbines can work at wind speeds of 5 to 6 kmph. This should help open up additional areas in India.

The MNES has issued detailed guidelines for the installation of wind turbines. For projects up to 1 MW installed capacity, only a simple application is needed to be submitted to the State Electricity Board or the designated nodal agency. Beyond 1 MW capacity, a detailed project report is needed from an independent consultant. The location of the wind turbine should be at a site notified by MNES as having sufficient wind velocity. The equipment chosen should be from a pre-qualified list of vendors. Facilities for power evacuation to the grid should exist.

The permission to install the wind turbine would be accompanied by a commitment to buy the power generated irrespective of grid needs. This purchase would be at preferential rates. The provision of 80% depreciation on assets and a 10 year tax holiday help in making wind turbine projects financially viable.

The installation of wind turbines does not prevent the continued use of the land for other purposes. For example, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, the wind turbines are installed on farm land used for growing crops. This is unlike the solar or other types of plants that use land surface. The first spurt in wind energy generation could come from the upgrade of the older lower capacity turbines to the more efficient modern turbines.

It is common to see large down times of wind turbines due to inadequate preventive inspection and repair. MNES has sought to address this issue by requiring regular output monitoring of wind turbines, and by forming an inspection cell in the State Electricity Board.

In conclusion, the MNES plans are well conceived and if backed by effective implementation, the share of wind energy in meeting India’s galloping energy needs would increase and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

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About the author: Amanda Kidd is a blogger who is very fond of gadgets. She enjoys hacking from

software modification point of view. She is always into buying new gadgets upcoming in the market and

currently planning to buy an android tablet. These days she is busy in writing on eco friendly gadgets and recycled materials.