Private companies to generate 18,000 MW in Tamil Nadu


Chennai : The Tamil Nadu government has approved production of nearly 18,000 MW of electricity by private parties, state Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy told the state assembly Thursday.

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He also told the house that the Russia-aided Koodankulam nuclear power plant would begin generation by December this year.

The government has issued guidelines to merchant power plants (private stations) on tariffs at which they will be allowed to sell power to the state electricity board – Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), the minister added.

He said: “Merchant power plants have been asked to sell power to the TNEB at Rs.2.50 per unit,” refuting charges by the Left parties that the power will be sold at Rs.7 per unit.

“The government will not allow a pricing more than this, especially for those who use imported coal for generation,” Veerasamy said.

Private power stations are being set up at Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Tuticorin. The state has several ongoing projects that will produce 4,100 MW, which includes a 1,600 MW TNEB joint venture with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd in Tuticorin district.

The minister added that the state has 3,676 MW of power from wind energy and 3,387 MW from solar power. Another 313 MW is generated from cane and 37.5 MW comes from organic waste.

“If Tamil Nadu gets another 350 MW from the central grid and if Neyveli Lignite Corporation fully supplies electricity we can overcome the problem of power shutdowns,” Veerasamy said.

A 1,500 MW shortfall in wind generation is the reason for acute power shortage in the state for the last six months the minister said, adding that the state will step efforts to increase wind power production up to 5,600 MW.

The Tamil Nadu government is planning to set up a Transmission Corporation at a cost of Rs.250 billion with private investments that would help it to share power with other south Indian states, the minister said.