Kerala, NTPC to rope in tribals for wind energy generation plan

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Jun 22 2011, 07:18am hrs
The Kerala government has mooted a business-model with tribals of Palakkad to rev up its green energy production with an 80-mw wind power plan. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will join hands with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for the proposal.

According to the business plan, KSEB and NTPC will float an offer for utilisation of tribal-habitated land in Palakkad for wind power generation. If they agree, they would be adequately compensated by way of price of the land. The state outfit will also enter into a long-term agreement with the tribals.

According to the accord, the tribals are to to be paid a fixed amount of money from every unit of power that is generated from the windmills that come up on their land.

Thus the tribals would benefit in two ways the revenue from providing the land and the recurring income flow from the share of power generated. state power minister Aryadan Mohammed told FE.

The two places identified as high potential for wind generation are Attapadi and Kanjikode in Palakkad district. Kerala has urged for additional power from central pool at subsidised rate, so that the state could be compensated for dropping several hydel projects on environmental reasons.

KSEB expects the demand for power to reach about 6,000 mw in another ten years, while generation from both hydel and small thermal plants would remain at about 2,300 mw.

The minister ruled out any hike in power tariff immediately. Also, since setting up of mega power projects is not feasible in Kerala due to resistance against displacement of people from their land, the government plans to set up small-medium power projects, the minister added.

The defunct KSEB is running at a loss of R3,500 crore per year. At present, the board does not exist as a separate entity. It is run as part of state government, with a commitment to proceed to the company form from September 30, by Central Electricity Act 2000.

Since this deadline was negotiated by the former LDF government, the Congress-led UDF government is likely to seek for extension of deadline so that it can put its act together.

However, it will have to cough up R4520 crore as pension fund before turning into a company.

Under the 100-days programme of the Kerala government, the state power ministry intends to complete implementation of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vaidyudi Yojana in six districts in North Kerala.