Self-sustainability of the Varuna wind park

Wind Park Data

One of the aims of Varuna is to create a green energy park which is capable of:

a) upholding itself, in the sense of being self-sustainable.
b) growing along with Auroville.
c) delivering all the energy that Auroville needs.

Further details regarding the 3 aims above are as follows.
a) Upholding itself, in the sense of being self-sustainable: That means for a wind-generator with a life-span of 20 years, we have to put aside or re-invest in the wind park enough money so that after 20 years we can pay for the installation of another wind-generator to replace the old one. With a life-span of 20 years, this would mean that every year one has to put aside 5% of the price of a new wind-generator. At a current rate of 4.5 crores rupees for a 0.8 megawatt wind-generator, this would come to 22.5 lakhs per year.
b) Growing along with Auroville: Let us assume that Auroville grows every year by 5%, or rather that the electricity consumption of Auroville grows every year by 5%, then the capacity of the wind park to generate energy should also grow by 5% per annum. That means that for every wind-generator we re-invest an additional 5% of the cost-price of a wind-generator every year, which is 22.5 lakhs at the present price of 4.5 crore for a wind-turbine.
c) Delivering all the energy that Auroville consumes: This last task of the wind-generator has to be achieved on top of the other two. That means that after putting aside for each wind-generator 22.5 lakhs for renewing itself + 22.5 lakhs for the wind-park to grow along with Auroville, we then still have to squeeze out of the generator the electricity which Auroville consumes. In the present circumstances we are not yet able to wheel our energy from the wind-generators direct to Auroville. That means that we have to sell the energy and pay Auroville’s electricity bills with the proceeds. At present Auroville has a total consumption of around 32 lakhs kWh per annum. The total amount paid for these 32 lakhs is around 1.5 crore rupees.

Here is a list of the wind-generators already commissioned and some proposals for those which we may still install in future. The list shows that we would require a minimum of 7 wind-generators in order to meet all the three targets mentioned above. Of course a lot depends on how efficiently we manage our wind-generators. While we can do group-captive sales with the wind-generators outside the Foundation, this is not possible with the generators inside the Foundation. If we could wheel our energy from one or both of the machines which are under the Auroville Foundation, then this would brighten up our energy balance considerably, because right now we have to produce and sell 2 kWh of electricity in order to pay for one kWh consumed in Auroville. While we get only 3.39 rupees for each kWh sold, Auroville pays around 7 rupees for each kWh consumed.
It is clear that there is still a great potential to optimize our wind park’s efficiency, plus we will still have to enlarge it quite a bit to meet our targets.