Meghalaya to tap its huge green energy potential in a big way

D Banjop Mukhim Shillong, June 25 (PTI) Taking cue from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, power-deficit Meghalaya is going all out to tap green energy to bridge the widening demand-supply gap in the state. A preliminary investigation conducted by the Meghalaya Non-Conventional and Rural Energy Development Agency indicated that the state could generate about 3155 MW of electricity through non-conventional sources of energy such as bio-mass, solar and wind energy. A GIS mapping, conducted by the Chennai-based Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET), an autonomous institution of the Government of India, said the state is capable of tapping between 40-90 MW of power from wind energy alone, MREDA director John Rodborne said. The government agency in collaboration with CWET is presently conducting a feasibility study in the entire state to install windmills in at least seven selected sites across the state. Three Wind Turbine Test Stations have been installed in the southern slope of Meghalaya and four more will be added by year end, he said. These stations have been installed in Ladrymbai in Jaintia Hills district, Laitdiengsai in East Khasi Hills district and Mawiawet in West Khasi Hills district respectively. The other four will be set up in Skhentalang in Jaintia Hills district, Laitkynsew and Mawkynrew in East Khasi Hills district and Phodjaut in West Khasi Hills district, the official said. The preliminary information received from the installed centres indicated that wind blowing up the cliffs in the southern slopes of the state could be essentially tapped for almost throughout the year. The reason behind the idea of having wind-power project is because it is one of the most environment friendly means to generate electricity, Rodborne said. The time taken to set up a wind power project is also shorter as compared to the time taken to set up a conventional thermal power plant.