Peak power demand at all-time high of 4,600 Mw. The state’s own generation, plus IPPs, plus share of power from Central stations is insufficient
Historically known to be a power surplus state, Odisha is now scrambling to arrange power from multiple sources to meet its burgeoning demand in peak summer.
Peak power demand in the state has scaled an all-time high of 4,600 Mw. The state’s own generation plus power sourced from independent power plants (IPPs) and its share of power from the central generating stations is not adequate to meet the mounting demand.
”We have tied up a power banking arrangement with Punjab for purchase of 200 Mw. From the IPPs, we are buying additional 75 Mw power. Also, during the off peak hours, we are procuring about 50 Mw power from the energy exchanges”, said an official source.
The shortfall in peak power is in the range of 300-350 Mw. The deficit is seen climbing up in June. Accordingly, the state government is gearing up to tide over the shortage.
”We have already floated tenders for procurement of 100 Mw more during June. Our reservoir levels are not comfortable. Hydro power generation is halved during non-peak hours and and is raised to optimum capacity to meet the surge in peak power”, said the official.
Soaring temperatures during summer has led to spike in peak power demand. Besides, the state government’s push for rural electrification and ‘Power for All’ is causing a phased increase in average power demand. The state’s installed power capacity from all sources is around 19,000 Mw.
To secure long-term power security, the state government had signed pacts with 30 IPPs. Later, two MoUs were scrapped for unsatisfactory performance on the projects. Most of the remaining proponents have not evinced interest to install their projects primarily due to lack of coal linkages and drying out of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs). Key players such as BGR Energy Systems and CESC Ltd have offered to surrender lands acquired or identified for their projects in Odisha.
IPPs like Jindal India Thermal Power Ltd (JITPL), Lanco Power and Maa Durga who have commissioned their projects have almost turned into stranded assets dogged by lack of coal availability or PPAs or both.
The state government’s present focus is on ramping up capacity of renewables, especially solar power generation. Last month, 42 Mw solar power capacity got added from standalone producers.
Odisha has recently opened up bids for 200 Mw grid connected solar power. The project is proposed to be developed in a non-solar park model where the developer will have the option to select the location. Gridco, the state owned bulk power trader will sign a long-term PPA spanning 25 years from the date of commercial operations with the successful bidders.