Presently, Wind Energy Installations (WEIs) in India are growing at 27 per cent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). Tamil Nadu tops India’s wind ranking, boasting 7.4GW in 2015 – 35 per cent of total installed capacity in the country.
The project was launched on 13 May 2015 and is helping Tamil Nadu’s state-owned electricity generation and distribution utility, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO)—to better manage the fluctuations in wind power output in the region. As a technical focal point of the entire spectrum of Indian wind industry, National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has partnered with Vortex SL Spain to enhance wind forecasting initially in Tamil Nadu state and then to extend service to all the stakeholders in the country.
Indian Wind Power Association (IWPA) had approached NIWE to carry out forecasting of wind power for the entire state of Tamil Nadu as per CERC norms in vogue. Spurred by the State’s support for renewable, wind energy generation capacity in India could rise by 5GW per annum over the next decade.
IWPA highlights that two to three billion units of electricity were lost each year in 2013 and 2014, because of wind-farm downtime, which is due to non-availability of proper forecasting mechanism.
The Indian wind industry faces several hurdles, those include transmission, scheduling and forecasting problems, resulting in wind turbines being taken off line because grid managers couldn’t accurately schedule wind power output on to the grid.
Initially, NIWE joined hands with Vortex in a first-of-its kind project to provide forecasts of output from a 51MW wind farms located in Tamil Nadu and found a generalised approach for carrying out wind power forecasting. This approach was then extended to all the 106 wind turbines connected substations in the state serving the 7.4GW of installed wind capacity.
NIWE is gathering wind generation data from various wind farms connected substations across the state through GPRS and works with Vortex to arrive at wind power generation estimation for the following day up to 10 days ahead. NIWE has created an automated system to pick up and process the real-time generation data, which is received at 15-minute interval.
The use of wind power forecasting system has helped to increase wind power evacuation by 20 per cent on a daily basis. Wind power being amongst the cheapest sources of power, it would help TNEB financially to use all the wind power being generated. NIWE is providing 10-day ahead wind power forecast to SLDC, RLDC, TNEB etc since August 2015 that has helped SLDC to turn down or stop coal and other power plants for whose power, it pays nearly R5.50 and take in cheap power instead.
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