Coimbatore:Wind power production plunged to near nil on Tuesday in Coimbatore region as the industrial hub stares at yet another power crisis. The 5,300 windmills in Udumalpet produced just 2 mega watt of power on Tuesday, according to officials of Tangedco, the state power distribution agency.
"There was almost no wind power generation on Tuesday because of heavy rains in Udumalpet," said Mr D. Manoharan, Tangedco's chief engineer of the Coimbatore circle. However, there is no load-shedding or unscheduled power cuts in Coimbatore region, he insisted.
Wind power has been saving Tamil Nadu from a potential crisis for the last two months. Last month, amid balmy breeze interspersed with gusty winds, power generation from wind farms in Udumalpet soared to 1100 mega watts. However, over the last week, the wind has been losing its force.
On Monday, wind power production dropped to 200 MW. And on Tuesday, it touched the month's lowest - 2 MW. While power production plunged, the demand for electricity has been slowly climbing up in Coimbatore region which includes Tirupur and Nilgiris districts. The demand for power which was hovering between 600 to 800 MW has now gradually spiked back to 1,500 MW, officials said. Of the 1,500 MW supplied to the Coimbatore region, about 40 per cent goes to the industrial units.
Officials, however, are hopeful that Tamil Nadu would get its share of 500 MW power from the Koodankulam nuclear plant from August 26. Besides, the three thermal plants in the state shut for maintenance will also resume production soon to stave off a power crisis again.
"Wind power may also pick up in the next two weeks," said a windmill owner in Udumalpet.Usually, wind power generation improves from June and peaks in September. It is a slump period for the over 11,000 windmills in Tamil Nadu between November and May.
Over the last few years, TN has been reeling under erratic outages with districts, especially Coimbatore, facing long, frequent unscheduled cuts. However, over the last two months, the power situation has eased with the upswing in wind power production.
The micro-industrial units in Coimbatore which have been crippled by power cuts in the past are now worried about a lurking power crisis. "We cannot bear another power crisis. We hope there will be no load-shedding. If there is, many units will face closure," said Mr J. James, Coimbatore district president of the Tamil Nadu association of cottage and micro enterprises.
As many as 15,000 micro industrial units manufacturing spare parts for the automobile, foundry and textile industries in Coimbatore have shut down over the last five years because of the gloomy power scenario in Tamil Nadu.