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May 3, 2009

Textile Mills Appealed TNEB's Permission For Windmill Energy

With the onset of the winds, textile mills that have invested in windmills in the State have appealed to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to allow the units to tap their energy needs from the wind energy generated. Currently, the High Tension industries in this region face 40 per cent power cut, peak hour restriction and two hours of unscheduled power cut every day. Most of them use diesel generator sets when there is no power. A senior executive of one of the leading textile mills here told that mills incurred Rs. 8 to Rs. 9 a unit when they used the generator sets. A large number of textile units had invested heavily in wind energy to bring down their power cost.

Usually, the wind energy generated was fed into the grid and the units were able to consume the banked energy whenever there was a shortage. However, with the power cut, these units were unable to use the banked energy of 2008-09 and continued to face the 40 per cent power cut even now. The executive said that captive wind energy generators were not in a position to use their own wind energy. The Tamil Nadu Regulatory Commission, in its order dated November 28, 2008, had said that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board should make available the banked wind energy to the captive wind power generators.


At that time, the board said it was unable to give back the banked energy because of the power shortage. Even those that had gone in for third-party purchase of power or gas-based power had the 40 per cent power cut only on the grid power that they consumed, he said. The board should modify the consumption restrictions and make available the energy generated from the windmills to the respective units. Another industry representative here said some of the smaller units had disposed of the wind mills in the last few months.Even some large-scale mills were planning to go in for debt restructuring as they were unable to service their debts. The capital investment for one MW windmill was about Rs. 6 crore. Apart from paying the interest for the investment, the units were incurring a high cost to operate the generator sets.

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