Indian gas major GAIL forays into wind energy
Encouraged by the initial results of 4.5 MW wind power project in the western state of Gujarat, GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd) is all set to establish a firm hold in the “green energy” sector and plans to set up 100 MW wind energy generation (WEG) projects in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and six other states at a cost of $155 million.
The company is setting up another 14 MW WEG project in Gujarat partly for captive use in the State and part;y for sale to the State utility. “GAIL is also in the process of setting up a 100 MW WEG project in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for commercial use. The wind potential states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are also on the radar of GAIL to expand its presence in the wind energy sphere,” according to an internal plan document of the company.
It says, the increasing prices of fossil fuel and the growing concern over global warming due to green house gases (GHG) emissions by fossil fuel-based power generation, have led to interest around the world for harnessing renewable sources for power generation. “Based on the current trend in prices of wind mills along with associated activities, the cost of the proposed 100 MW wind energy project of GAIL is estimated at around Rs.620 crore ($155 million). The initial projects in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are envisaged to be commissioned during 2012-2013,” it states.
Out of the total project cost, the company intends to invest 40 per cent of the project cost as equity and the balance is proposed to be met through finance from banks or financial institutions. The rate of interest for getting finance for this project for a period of eight years with a moratorium period of two years is likely to be around 10.25 per cent per annum.
The project is envisaged to have optimised combination of wind turbine generators (WTGs). Power from WTGs in the wind farm shall be generated at low voltage and stepped up to 33 kV or other suitable voltage.
All the eight states have a wind power policy in place where the period of power purchase agreement (PPA) ranges from 10 years to 20 years.
Apart from being environmentally-friendly, the wind energy projects will generate employment for the local stakeholders.