The Karnataka government is coming up with India’s first ever hybrid energy park (solar and wind) in Pavagada, a panchayat town in Tumakuru district, in the hope of wooing investors who also have a market in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district nearby. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have always competed with each other in luring investors with industry-friendly incentives – earlier it was in the IT-BT sector, now it’s in the Energy sector.
While Karnataka garnered the nation’s attention by setting up Asia’s largest solar energy park in Pavagada, Andhra Pradesh more or less achieved similar success by allowing wind farms in Anantapur district that cover Pavagada from all three sides. Now, by tapping into its wind potential, Karnataka too will allow wind energy farms at Pavagada.
Confirming the news on the hybrid park, Energy Minister DK Shivakumar told Bangalore Mirror that soon a formal announcement will be made in this regard. “We have already thought about it and are working out a policy to facilitate setting up of windmills in the area,” he said.
A hybrid energy park is a combination of two or more renewable energy sources that would ensure increased supply of power all through the day. The popular concept of hybrid energy in India is photo-voltaic system coupled with wind. The wind and solar hybrid farm would ensure more energy from wind in winter while the solar panels would produce their peak output in summer. Hybrid energy systems often yield greater economic and environmental returns than wind, solar, geothermal or tri-generation standalone systems.
According to sources in Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL), the nodal agency of the Energy Department that oversees power generation in the renewable energy sector, there are ample opportunities for the state to harness power of the wind.
Andhra Pradesh has commissioned 300-MW wind farms around the solar park of Karnataka. “The location is a land locked border and almost all sites have achieved the potential. We are covered by Anantapur on all three sides and one can see wind energy farms everywhere. Our preliminary reports have revealed that there is a potential for 250-300 MW power generation,” said a senior official.
Shivakumar explained: “The very concept of a hybrid park is unique. We have places where wind farms have accommodated solar units. But nowhere in the country do we find solar parks accommodating windmills. There is enough wind at night, so we decided tap into it too. Windmills cannot be installed in between solar panels so separate land has been identified in the same locality where we are considering setting up the wind farm.”