The Tamil Nadu government unveiled its ambitious TNEB 2.0 to augment the power infrastructure to meet the state’s growing demand. Given the forecast of 24,000MW power demand in the next 10 years, Tangedco has set a deadline to add 6,220 MW to the grid in the next five years by commissioning seven projects at a cost of ₹41,623 crore.
They include North Chennai TPP Stage III, Ennore SEZ TPP and Udangudi TPP Stage I, Uppur TPP, ETPS Expansion power project, Kundah Hydro Electric Project, and Kollimalai HydroElectric Project.
Electric vehicle charging stations would be set up at substations located on state and national highways.
Replying to the demand for grants for the energy department, electricity minister V Senthil Balaji said plans were afoot to increase installed capacity from 32,592MW to 65,184MW in the next decade.
“We plan to increase the electricity board’s capacity from 25% to 50%. In stark contrast to the idea of privatizing the power sector, the chief minister's main objective is that it should continue to remain a public-sector entity, increase productivity and serve the people better. Steps will be taken to implement new projects, purchase sick power plants at a low cost and strengthen the distribution network,” the minister said. Conversion of overhead lines into underground cables in Greater Chennai will be completed by September, and work is in progress in the coastal districts.
The focus is on renewable energy and solar power parks of 2000MW would be installed across the state. “The 1,686 rural power transmission lines will be segregated, and agricultural feeders will be solarised. Tangedco will turn all its 110 old and inefficient windmills that have the capacity of 17. 5MW into wind solar hybrid systems. The agency will set up 100 new sub-stations at a cost of ₹1,649 crore,” the minister said.
Earlier, pointing to the government’s argument that the shortage of coal and reduction of 796MW from the central grid was the reason for the power outage recently, former electricity minister P Thangamani drew the attention of the House to the government’s policy note tabled in the assembly that said Tamil Nadu recorded the highest receipt of 1. 72 crore tonne of coal last year. The Tangedco also receives 694MW from the Centre additionally.