India: unrelable wind leads to demand for commissioning Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

The Hindu reports that industry is complaining that wind is too unreliable and is pressing for rapid nuclear plant commissioning.

With power generation from windmills remaining volatile, trade and industry bodies in the region are calling for expeditious commissioning of Rs.14,000-crore Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The first unit of the nuclear plant will generate 1,000 MW and a second unit with the same capacity is likely to be commissioned a few months later.

P. Sitaraman, founder-president and executive committee member of Plastic Manufacturers’ Association of Madurai (PLASMA), told The Hindu that while the power situation being better now, it was still prone to fluctuations.

He noted that the Central government had given an assurance that the nuclear plant would be commissioned as soon as the protests subsided. However, despite a couple of months after the State government having accorded permission, the power plant was yet to go on stream.

“Even though May-end to September is the wind season when power generation from windmills remain high, it is still volatile and it’s not a reliable source of power. We are left at the mercy of wind.”

Rather than depend largely on a unstable source of power, the power authorities must utilise wind power only as a buffer and use this season to run maintenance works on conventional power plants. “Tamil Nadu should be allotted more than the mandatory 50 per cent of power generated by the KKNPP till such time the host State tides over the power crisis,” Mr. Sitaraman said.

Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) president V.S. Manimaran said that formalities involved in the commissioning the plant should be expedited by the various government agencies. With wind power failing of late, the State government must also push for its early commissioning.

M.R. Rajendran, president of Kappalur Industrial Estate Manufacturers’ Association, where around 300 small units employing 12,000 workers are located, said that power cuts were occurring suddenly when the power generation from windmills declined. This kind of power cuts were unpredictable and occurring without any warning.

Only commissioning of the KKNPP would bring in some stability in the power situation, he added.