Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced in the State Assembly on May 1 that electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in Tamil Nadu will be strengthened at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore with 56 more sub-stations being set up this year. The sub-stations will improve the quality of power in Chennai, industrial hubs in the State and south Tamil Nadu. Wind power evacuation capacity will also be increased.
The Chief Minister also said the State will enter into long-term, 15-year power purchase agreements through the Case-1 bidding route to bridge electricity shortfall.
A 2,000 mw pumped storage hydro power project will be established at a cost of Rs 7,000 crore in the Nilgiris, she said. The Sillahalla hydroelectric project will be established in stages over the next 8-10 years.
Across the Sillahalla, a tributary of Kundah, a 91-metre high reservoir will be created and linked to the Avalanche-Emerald reservoirs in the first stage. In the next stage, a 2,000 mw underground power station will be set up between the proposed Sillahalla reservoir and Pillur reservoir 1,500 metres below.
The power will be generated when the water flows through an underground tailrace tunnel. Surplus power during off peak hours will be used from various sources to lift the water again to the upper reservoir to generate power during the peak demand period.
To strengthen the transmission and distribution infrastructure in the state the Tamil Nadu government has formulated a Rs 5,000-crore plan, which includes Rs 3,572 crore special funding from Japan. The loan will carry 0.55 per cent interest and can be repaid over 20 years with repayment starting after 10 years.