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Centre to revisit rules on central power pool

Centre to revisit rules on central power pool


Outdated, says minister; no nuclear power supply to a state which doesn’t allow a generating plantUnion Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the Union government would rework the formula on electricity allocation from the central pool to states. He said the pool had become irrelevant with the availability of surplus power at cheaper rates. Speaking to journalists at a conference of state ministers of power, renewable energy and mines, Goyal said, “The central government did power allocation like lord and master.” Power from generating stations, set up by central government utilities, goes to beneficiary states or Union territories (UTs) under guidelines issued in April 2000.

According to these, allocation is made to the States/UTs in two parts, a firm component of 85 per cent and an unallocated 15 per cent for urgent requirement. The firm allocation comprises allocation of 12 per cent free power to affected states and one per cent for local area development in the case of hydropower stations and 10 per cent (not free) power to the home state in the case of thermal and nuclear power stations. The balance 72-75 per cent is distributed among states/UTs of a region in accordance with the pattern of central plan assistance and energy consumption during the previous five years, both having equal weight.

Central plan assistance is determined by what is termed the ‘Gadgil formula’, in which population of a state is taken into consideration. In the case of joint venture projects, the equity contributing state gets a benefit in firm allocation, in line with the contribution. Goyal also said states which did not allow nuclear power plants to be set up would not be given nuclear power from any other state. On distressed power projects, Goyal said for resolution of the non-performing assets of banks, power purchase agreements (PPAs) cannot be floated. “I cannot burden the discoms (distribution companies).”

More than one memorandum of agreement for a total purchase of 1,000 (megawatt) Mw wind power under the ministry of new and renewable energy’s (MNRE’s) first auction scheme in the segment were signed on Thursday. These were between PTC India, the trading company, and the discoms of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Odisha and Assam. Those of UP are to buy 449.9 Mw, Bihar and Jharkhand 200 Mw each, Delhi 100 Mw, Assam 50 Mw and Odisha 50 Mw. These are for meeting their non-solar renewable power purchase obligation.

The letter of award to the successful wind power developers under the first auction scheme were issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on April 5. The projects are to be commissioned within 18 months. A record low rate of Rs 3.46 a Kwh was obtained during the auction. MNRE has launched a scheme for another round of wind energy auction for 1,000 Mw of projects. The differentiation between windy and non-windy states has been done away. SECI will sign PPAs with selected developers and back-to-back power sale agreements with buying utilities.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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