Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister R Viswanathan on Tuesday urged the Central government to expedite environmental clearances to a couple of major power projects besides remove the bottlenecks in the execution of thermal power projects by BHEL.
Speaking at the conference of Power Ministers in New Delhi, he said even though the Expert Appraisal Committee of Ministry of Environment and Forest had recommended environmental clearance for Udangudi Super Thermal Power Project and Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project, final clearance was yet to be issued. Hence, he requested the Union Power Minister to do the needful in this regard.
He also expressed grave concern over the delay in the execution of major Thermal Power Projects in Tamil Nadu by BHEL. Commissioning of North Chennai Thermal Power Project as well as the joint venture with NTPC had been delayed by more than two years by BHEL. Early commissioning of these projects should be ensured, he added.
The Minister said Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited (TANTRANSCO) and State Load Despatch Centre had been taking necessary measures to provide a protection system to the grid so as to ensure grid security and discipline. However, he pointed out that the Centre was not providing financial assistance from Power System Development Fund (PSDF) which was remaining unutilised. He requested the Centre to sanction financial assistance from PSDF for TN’s proposals to strengthen the grid.
Viswanathan also pointed out that inadequate transmission infrastructure between rest of the country and the Southern region had been a major bottleneck in purchasing power from other regions for our requirement. He urged the Centre to ensure that Sholapur-Raichur transmission lines were completed as assured by the Centre and the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited on various occasions.
He recalled that the Centre had recently turned down TN’s request for assistance from the National Clean Energy Fund. The transmission charge per unit of wind or solar energy is four or five times costlier than that of conventional power. hence, he wanted the Centre to reconsider its stand and provide the necessary assistance from National Clean Energy Fund immediately.
“When Tamil Nadu is doing more than its share for renewable energy, Tamil Nadu is being penalized by the proposed tightening of frequency band 49.9 to 50.1 Hz. With this it will be very difficult to inject infirm power like wind energy into grid due to large variation in generation during the day”, he pointed out.