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Why is power surplus Tamil Nadu going for another Solar Tender

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Another 500 MW Solar Tender in TN

Tamil Nadu has suddenly become power surplus after being chronically deficit in power generation for most of its life. The state which is highly industrially developed does not have too much coal and suffered due to a lack of transmission capacity from coal rich eastern and northern regions of the country.

However, in the last one year it has turned power surplus as 2 GW of nuclear power capacity came up and its hasty and controversial 648 MW Adani solar power plant started supplying power. It has turned into the largest solar capacity state in the country with more than 1500 MW of capacity. It already has around 10 GW of wind energy capacity installed making it a powerhourse in  RE generation. Despite this, the state has come out with another 500 MW solar tender. The reason is to ostensibly meet its solar RPO obligations which stands at 2.5% for FY 16 and 5% for FY18.

Read Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy.

While meeting its RPO is good and all, how is that state going to use the power that it generates. The state’s CM recently implored the central government to build transmission capacity so that it could export is surplus green power to other states. If it builds more  power generation capacity how is it going to use it. It will lead to high losses like Punjab which a poor country like Indian cannot afford.

RPO can easily be deferred. It is a tool to promote solar energy and not to put more losses on its citizens, when there is enough RE already present in Tamil Nadu. India needs to be more practical in building solar power. It needs to slow down as many of its conventional plants are lying idle and wasting money at 60% PLF. Solar power can come as new build later on, when there is more demand from India’s growing GDP. First the country needs to utilize its existing power asset base, before building more power plants and wasting the energy from them.

I know that solar power costs have fallen but that does not mean building more plants just for the heck of it. India needs a long term rational vision on when and how to build its energy generation capacity. Just making adhoc rules and plans will not help given the huge amounts of money that is spend on energy generation and transmission.



Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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