PATIALA: Despite a dip in 1,450 megawatt of power availability this year, the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) has claimed that there would be no shortage during the peak summer season. Last year, Punjab had power availability of 13,962.62 MW from sources within and outside the state.
This year, the shutting down of the Bathinda thermal plant and two units of the Ropar thermal plant has deprived the corporation of 850 MW of electricity. It is learnt that the central power authorities have reduced the transfer capacity of Punjab from the northern grid by another 600 MWs to prevent excessive load on the system.
During 2017-18, the power demand had shot up to 11,681 MW (2,671 lakh units) a day during of July, which was the peak paddy sowing season. The PSPCL, in its multi-year tariff revision petition, had projected a supply to different categories of consumers at 47,932.22 million units (MU) for 2017-18 and 50,203.85 MU for 2018-19. The officials of the corporation said that would lead to an increase in the demand for power by another 2,271.63 MUs during the current year.
PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director A Venu Prasad said the corporation was committed to providing uninterrupted supply to various categories of consumers, and it was in the process of signing short-term and long-term power purchase agreements with various sources outside the state to meet the increased demand. He said last year they had kept the four units of Bathinda thermal power plant on standby and shutting down the same was unlikely to pose a problem for the PSPCL during the current year.
He said the corporation had already signed power purchase agreements with Damodar Valley Corporation from where the state will get 250 MW at Rs 3.9 per unit. Prasad said PSPCL would have 200 MWs from the Power Trading Corporation at Rs 3.50 per unit and 150 MW was being arranged from the Solar Energy Corporation of India. “Besides, 250 MWs of power will also be placed at the disposal of PSPCL from the solar plants set up within the state,” he said.
He said last year the central power authorities had approved transfer capacity of 6,500 MW and the same is likely to be restored this year as well.
Meanwhile, with the onset of summer season, seven out of eight state-owned thermal units are generating power to meet the demand, which has risen by more than 200 lakh units in last 25 days.