Tamil Nadu, country's hub for wind farms, now started loosing to the near by states in South and to Gujarat. The state which attracted around Rs 7,000 crore investment a year before is likely to close the current fiscal with an investment of only around Rs 1,300 crore, a drop of around 81 per cent.
Industry representatives attributed the drop to state utility defaulting to the wind farm owners, unfriendly policy and lack of infrastructure.
Ramesh Kymal, chairman, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association and Chairman and Managing Director Gamesa said that "compared to more than 1000 MW last year, we have done only 150 MW in the first half. And I can assure u between now and march we will have another 50 MW".
"So about 1100 MW , we are talking about Rs 7,000 crore investment made in Tamil Nadu last year and this year only 200 MW is going to come which is only Rs 1300 crore." he said.
It may be noted, the state has been the darling for wind energy companies as the availability of huge wind corridors with good wind velocity has been attracting investors to Tamil Nadu for more than a decade. The state, with an installed capacity of 7,000 MW, has the highest number of windmills in the country.
But the investment direction is now getting changed towards Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharastra. Industry representatives said, apart from huge sum of money (to the tune of around Rs 1,500), which has to be owed by Tami Nadu Electricity Board to the wind energy producers, adverse policies and tariff are also hurting the investors sentiment.
“Investors have lost interest in the state, as the charge, dubbed cross-subsidy charge of about Rs 1.30 per kWhr, makes investments in wind project unviable” said an industry representative.
A TNEB official said the Board is facing fund constrains, with the recent Government decision to infuse money into the Board and to provide guarantee, the Board will be able to raise money from the financial institution and soon it will pay the money to the wind farm owners.
The other major problem is infrastructure, The state-run distribution company is yet to come out with a concrete plan of action for establishing sub-stations along with private sectors, which will attract another 1,000 MW of wind power in the region.
With these issues, wind power players are looking at other states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat as alternate investment ground, which will not augur well for state that is facing power shortage of around 4000 mega watt.