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Massive wind turbine generator installed near Koodankulam

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI, AUG. 18. The biggest and tallest ever wind turbine generator (WTG) in Asia, capable of producing 2,000 KW (2 MW) power, has been installed at Chettikulam near Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district and it will be commissioned in the near future.

While the common WTGs installed at Muppandal and its surroundings here are 25-75 metres in height to produce power ranging from 225 to 1,250 KW, this one is 80 metres high and the long rotors have a diameter of 88 metres. When the rotors were taken to the site by road recently, some curves on the route were altered to ensure hassle-free and safe movement.

The Rs. 10-11 crore WTG has been designed and developed by the Pune-based Suzlon Energy Limited, which has manufacturing units in Pondicherry, Diu and Daman. This company has exported 24 wind turbine generators to the United States for being installed in California.

``We'll start the trial run in the near future. If all our targets are achieved during the test period of one year, we'll go for the installation of more 2 MW WTGs in some of the new places in Radhapuram taluk. Since wind velocity in this area is optimum — 12 to 14 metres per second — for power generation, we are hopeful that we can erect more mega WTGs here to take the wind power generation of Tamil Nadu to greater heights,'' S. Jayakumaran, assistant general manager (Projects), Suzlon Developers Limited, a sister concern of Suzlon Energy Limited, told The Hindu .

At Muppandal and surroundings, about 2,430 WTGs are functioning to generate 897.95 MW, while 1,479 WTGs in Coimbatore contribute 467.77 MW to the State grid. Though the new places around Muppandal, Radhapuram and Valliyoor are being identified, the wind farm companies are afraid that a slowdown in augmenting the number of sub-stations in this area to evacuate wind power to other places may hamper the installation of new WTGs after March 2005. ``If the official machinery fails to instal new sub-stations immediately, the wind farm companies will be forced to stop their augmentation programme by March 2005, which will subsequently hit the increase in power generation while the State is badly in need of quality power for new industries,'' said a top official of another wind farm at Muppandal.

Admitting that the existing sub-stations would not be in a position to evacuate the power generated in this part of the State, a top TNEB official here said the official machinery could not match the rapid installation of WTGs here. A proposal to add 200 sub-stations in this region was sent to the Government and the official nod was expected anytime.

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