Shivanasamudra power project to be downsized

Shivanasamudra power project to be downsized

Power situation looking up in State, says minister

Shivanasamudra power project to be downsized

The State government is set to downsize the proposed 345 MW Shivanasamudra power project due to technical reasons, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar announced on Thursday.

Addressing the media in Bengaluru, Shivakumar said the proposed hydro-electric power project at Shivanasamudra would be downsized by around 100 MW.

“As per the Central River Authority, if the project is under Rs 1,000 crore, then we don’t have to obtain NoC (no objection certificate),” he said.

Karnataka Power Corporation Limited had proposed the project but had met with objection from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Shivakumar said the government may shortly withdraw Section 11 of the Electricity Act, which was invoked last August, owing to acute power crisis in the State. This will, however, happen once the Energy department is convinced that the power situation is completely stabilised.

The Section mandates that all the independent power producers (IPPs) operating in the State supply power only to the state grid and bans export.

The minister said the worst was over and the situation was looking up. The department also does not envisage any crisis during the summer months, as additional power is being commissioned. While 700 MW will be added from the Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) by the end of January, around 221 MW is expected from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant from January 18.

“We will review the situation by the end of this month and take a decision on continuing or withdrawing Section 11 of the Electricity Act, which has been invoked.”

Energy Efficiency Year

Karnataka has been purchasing between 700 MW and 1000 MW (between September 2015 and May 2016) to tide over the crisis. Officials said 2,000 MW of power will be available from hydel stations.

Shivakumar said the department was observing 2016 as Energy Efficiency Year. Though consumers will not be regulated, the Central agency - Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL) - had undertaken energy-efficient programmes like distribution of LED bulbs and convincing farmers to shift to efficient irrigation pumpsets.

EESL initiated a pilot project in Nippani and Bydagi subdivisions of Hubli Electricity Supply Company Ltd last year. Of the 11,013 irrigation pumpsets, 590 were replaced. This has led to savings of two million units and avoided capacity addition of 30 MW, he said.