Tamil Nadu 45-Turbine Wind
Tamil Nadu: a wind farm among temples
The Tamil Nadu 45-Turbine Wind Project is located in Tamil Nadu, the southernmost of India's 28 states. Long associated with tigers and temples, Tamil Nadu's long coastline and forested mountains make it an incredibly beautiful part of India.
This project involved the construction of a 45-turbine wind farm in Erode and Dindigull districts. The wind farm replaces non-renewable energy sources such as coal with clean, wind-generated energy. The clean energy it produces is fed into the Southern Electricity Grid of India, lessening the region's reliance on fossil fuel based electricity and preventing 70,000 tonnes greenhouse gas emissions every year. Whilst more advanced than other renewable technologies, wind power is still not cost competitive with fossil fuels. However, the additional revenue from the sale of carbon credits made this project financially viable, and enabled its construction to go ahead.
Benefits Beyond Carbon Reduction
While Tamil Nadu is one of India's more prosperous states, many of its 60 million people still live in poverty and suffer from problems such as class and gender discrimination, and inter-district and urban-rural disparities. It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the state's population lives below the poverty line. The Tamil Nadu Wind Project helps to alleviate poverty by generating employment and contributing to the provision of basic amenities. Because the wind farm was created on dry, barren land, grazing of cattle was not affected. In fact, unproductive, previously worthless land was purchased from villagers to develop the wind farm. Furthermore, the southern electricity grid commonly suffers from power deficits. Not only has Tamil Nadu wind farm helped improve access to a reliable electricity supply for local businesses and households, it has also led to upgrades to roads and other infrastructure in the local area. Tamil Nadu wind farm also contributes towards reducing the level of air pollution resulting from fossil fuel combustion, such as sulphur and ash particles, which can cause adverse local health impacts.