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Windmills may dot coastal belt

Windmills may whirl soon at select sites along the coastal belt of Kerala, including Kochi, to generate power.

Experts from Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) will tour the coastal areas of Kerala next week for assessing the possibility of establishing the windmills.

The agency proposes to carryout feasibility studies for establishing six wind monitoring stations along the coastal belt of the State, including Cherai in Kochi, Kole Wetlands in Thrissur and MES College ground at Ponnani in Malappuram district, for evaluating the power production potential of these sites. Wind potential of the area would be evaluated for one year for selecting suitable sites, said C.K. Chandrabose, Joint Technical Director, Wind Energy Project of Anert.

The monitoring stations will collect data on wind velocity and direction for one year. The mast of the stations will be put up at a height of 80 metre. The wind data generated for terrains of same height will be applicable to an extent of 10 sq km in radius. A monitoring station would require at least 2 acres. The stay wires for holding the mast of the station requires considerable land. However, the wind farms would require hardly 20 cents, he said.

Some micro surveys will also be carried out in the selected sites. The sites which have the wind density to generate at least 200 watts per square metre will be selected. The windmills could be commissioned within six months, he said.

The wind farms will have the status of Independent Power Producers, which can sell power to the Kerala State Electricity Board at the rate fixed by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Captive Power Production will also be permitted using windmills for personal consumption. Industrial houses can draw power for their units from their own wind farms established at any part of the State under the facility. The ANERT also proposes to carry out feasibility studies for those interested in setting up the units.

Wind monitoring studies are progressing at Kanjikode in Palakkad, Vandiperiyar and Kalathumedu in Idukki, Pulikkanam in Kottayam and at the Malappuram campus of the Aligarh Muslim University.

Earlier studies held in 17 sites in hill ranges of Kerala had revealed that the farms could jointly produce 800 MW power. Technical clearances have been issued to 11 units of 2 MW each in Kanjokode Industrial belt in Palakkad. The construction of foundation for the units has started there.