Wind power in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh: potential assessment, costs, and grid implications

The study undertook a Geographical Information System (GIS) based assessment of the availability of wind resource, land, and transmission networks for rapid wind power development. The wind power potential in Karnataka is assessed to be at least 50,000 MW from wastelands alone for a turbine height of 80 m. Furthermore, there is a potential of around 20,000 MW if 5% of the state’s agricultural lands suitable for wind power were used to set up wind farms. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh has an estimated potential of 88,000 MW on wastelands and an additional 12,000 MW if 5% of the agricultural lands suitable for wind power were used. Wind power is cost effective as compared with other sources of generation. The main challenge for large-scale wind power addition is managing its variability and unpredictability. The state will have to develop fast ramping sources of generation such as hydro, pumped hydro, open cycle gas turbines, which could be used to manage the variability.