India's first independent developer expands

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The slow growth of wind power in India over the past two years has not halted the expansion of Chennai company Indowind Energy, which claims to be India's first independent wind farm developer. Having started operations five years ago, Indowind has installed 12.45 MW of wind power capacity in Muppandal, Tamil Nadu, and Gadag, Karnataka. The company plans to install another 20 MW by 2003, according to Indowind's R. Balajee. "We have a clear focus and a long term vision that envisages a ten percent share of the market," Balajee says. The company plans to expand in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Company turnover increased from about $700,000 in 1999 to $1 million last year. With its shares showing an upward trend, the company started paying dividends in 1999. KV Balakrishnan, the company's director, says that for wind to expand in the rural sector import of turbines should be made duty free. In addition, Indian manufacturers should look at bigger wind turbines and financial packages should be arranged with structured repayment schedules corresponding to the tariff rate.

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