Tamil Nadu has used more amount of wind power in May this year compared to previous years as per data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). Tamil Nadu used 2,108.47 million units of wind power in May 2022 against 1,507.05 MU in May 2021 and 1,128.60 MU in May 2020.
Generally, wind power generation starts around May 15, but this year it began by the first week of May. “Wind power season began in the first week of May but it was not continuous and we had to depend on coal to meet the summer power demand. But after May 10, we started to get wind power continuously,” said a senior Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (Tangedco) official.
Tangedco, like other distribution companies, faced a huge coal shortage and many states announced power shutdowns for several hours. But in Tamil Nadu, due to availability of wind power, Tangedco was able to manage without any shutdown.
Since wind power was available, Tangedco’s thermal units were put on standby. “Each hour per million units, not less than 750 tonnes of coal was saved and each day, wind power generation is around 70 million units. Thus, not less than 52,500 tonnes of coal per day have been saved,” said the official.
Meanwhile, Tangedco has started importing coal to improve the coal stock in case wind power generation goes down. “We have forecasts about wind power generation continuing but… we need to take steps to continue power supply. So, along with local coal, we have started to import coal and this will be blended and used,” said the official.
As of now, a total of 42.6 thousand tonnes of coal have been imported. “Coal from Indonesia has arrived at Ennore port and the same is being used in the thermal units in North Chennai. Slowly, when the need arises, we will send imported coal to Mettur and Tuticorin and in these thermal units, the imported coal will be blended with local coal,” said the official.
Meeting the demand
Average power demand in the state is around 16,500 MW and Tangedco is able to meet the entire demand without any problem. “From central thermal and nuclear units we get around 128 million units and wind power and solar power generations are around 108 million units. Thus, out of the total consumption of 369 million units, 236 million units comes from renewable and central units,” said the official.
Tangedco’s thermal units contribute around 70 million units daily and long-term agreements with private generators contribute around 40 million units, said the official.