Analysis: Wind Farms Signal Decline of Agriculture in Southern India
Driving southward from Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli city, one crosses many towns and villages with all the typical scenes one would expect – busy buses and trains, students in a rush, and construction labourers boarding lorries to head to the workstation of the day. There are hospitals, colleges and universities, shops, and a lot of temples.
Crossing Valliyur town, the landscape begins to change. The lush green fields surrounded by mountains, grazing goats and sheep, active morning birds and pastoralists and farmers gearing up for the day, greet you to the countryside. And just when you would think the scenery could not get more impressive, there emerges a backdrop of wind turbines, standing at average heights of over 50-80 feet.
This is near Muppandal, a village in the Kanyakumari district, home to India’s largest operational onshore wind farm in terms of installed capacity, since 1986.
The Muppandal wind farm that features turbines from many private players was developed by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA). The wind turbines here are some of the oldest turbines in the country. What makes Muppandal a great site to install wind turbines is the geographical location that receives uniquely powerful winds from the Arabian Sea.