Attappadi tribals to get a slice of NHPC wind farm’s profit pie

A prominent media house has been given technical sanction to set up the wind farm to be installed by Spanish firm Gamesa.

Published: 03rd April 2017 12:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2017 04:02 AM   |  A+A-

Power-generating windmill turbines are pictured in a Suzlon wind farm. (File photo: Reuters)

Express News Service

PALAKKAD: When the rotors of the National Hydro Power Corporation’s wind farm in Kavundikkal of Attappadi begin to turn, the fortunes of the tribals in the locality will change for the better. They will smell moolah as the corporation has promised them 5 per cent share of its profit in return for permission to set up windmills on their land.

Work on the 8 MW project spread across 10 acres will begin soon. ANERT project officer in charge of Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode, P Jayachandran Nair told ‘Express’ ‘Ooru Kootams’ (tribal gatherings) had agreed to the project.

Earlier in 2011, the Oommen Chandy government had promised to give a portion of energy giant Suzlon’s profit to the tribals in Palakkad on whose land it had set up windmills. But the plan was changed when the ministry decided to return 85 acres encroached by the multinational firm. Following a Vigilance inquiry, the project was called off after 30 windmills had been set up. They were later sold to private business houses in the state. As per the agreement between the state government and NHPC in 2014, it was proposed 82 MW of wind power would be generated in Attappadi in stages.

Palakkad will be home to the state’s largest wind energy project when the 22 MW Inox Wind Farm is commissioned at the Kinfra Industrial Park in Kanjikode. Its trial run was successfully completed last month and 100 units of power were generated.
“As much as 27.5 acres were allotted from Kinfra Industrial Park in 2010,” said V Murali Krishnan, junior manager of Kinfra Integrated Industrial and Textile Park. “Each machine required 2.5 acres and various formalities had to be completed accounting for the delay.”

Inox Wind corporate consultant K Suku Nair told Express each windmill costs Rs 14 crore. He said the Electricity Regulatory Commission would fix the tariff once the farm is commissioned. Inox Wind has already commissioned 1,600 MW in the country and will enhance it to 2,000 MW by the end of the current financial year, he said.
Feasibility studies found Palakkad had immense wind energy potential. If the government is willing, the company is ready to associate and produce clean energy, said Suku.

Another 10 MW project is coming up at Vadakarapathy bordering Tamil Nadu. A prominent media house has been given technical sanction to set up the wind farm to be installed by Spanish firm Gamesa.
ANERT officers say the state generates 43.1 MW of wind energy from Palakkad and Idukki. It is in the process of assessing the potential at other locations. Data generated by eight monitoring stations in Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode is being updated.


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