Electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in Tamil Nadu will be strengthened at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore with 56 more sub-stations being set up this year, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced in the Assembly. The sub-stations will improve the quality of power in Chennai, industrial hubs in the State and south Tamil Nadu. Wind power evacuation capacity will also be increased.
She also said the State will enter into long-term, 15-year power purchase agreements through the Case-1 bidding route to bridge electricity shortfall.
A 2,000 MW pumped storage hydro power project will be established at a cost of Rs 7,000 crore in the Nilgiris, she said. The Sillahalla hydroelectric project will be established in stages over the next 8-10 years.
In the first stage, a 91-metre high reservoir will be created across the Sillahalla, a tributary of Kundah, and linked to the Avalanche-Emerald reservoirs. In the next stage a 2,000-MW underground power station will be set up between the proposed Sillahalla reservoir and Pillur reservoir 1,500 metres below. The power will be generated when the water flows through an underground tailrace tunnel.
Surplus power during off peak hours will be used from various sources to lift the water again to the upper reservoir to generate power during the peak demand period.
The State Government has formulated an Rs 5,000-crore plan to strengthen the transmission and distribution infrastructure with Rs 3,572 crore special funding from Japan. The loan will carry 0.55 per cent interest and can be repaid over 20 years with repayment starting after 10 years.
The sub-stations planned with the international funding include five 400 kV sub-stations and related distribution lines with Rs 2,750-crore assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. These are to come up in Chennai and Coimbatore.
Work on setting up 14, 230 kV sub-stations will be started to support power supply in Chennai, Tiruppur, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ariyalur, Virudhunagar, Erode and Kanchipuram districts.
A 400 kV sub-station will come up in Thiruvallam, Vellore district, at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore. This will help Tamil Nadu share power with other Southern States with the Power Grid Corporation setting up a 765 kV in Thiruvallam.
Tamil Nadu has over 7,140 MW of wind power generation capacity. To address the evacuation capacity shortage from wind generation in South Tamil Nadu, Rs 1,230-crore 400 kV sub-stations with 788 km length of transmission lines will be set to evacuate wind power from Coimbatore, Udumalpet, and Theni region. A similar project is on to evacuate power from Kayathar, Tirunelveli district, with a 400 kV sub-station and transmission lines at a cost of Rs 2,300 crore to bring the power to Chennai.
The State Government has a target of setting up 3,000 MW of solar power capacity over the next three years.
The Government hopes to make solar power generation a people's movement. It had announced an incentive of Rs 2 a unit in the initial two years, Re 1 in the next two years and Rs 0.50 for two more years for those setting up rooftop solar power generation facilities. Following demand for more incentives, the Chief Minister said buyers can now avail themselves of an alternative option to get an incentive of Rs 20,000 a kw.