KERC limits power purchase to 500 MW from 1,000 MW

KERC limits power purchase to 500 MW from 1,000 MW

The State Energy department has set the ball in motion for the purchase of additional power of 500 MW at Rs 4.08 per unit.

Power will be procured from JSW, Karnataka and Sembcorp Gayatri Power Complex, Andhra Pradesh from next week onwards. The agreement ends on May 31, 2018. Though the department had floated tenders for the purchase of 1,000 MW, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has given approval for the purchase of only 500 MW.

Citing a drop in the load owing to unseasonal rains, KERC has opined that there is no requirement for the purchase of such a large quantum of power at this juncture.

As on Friday, the demand stood at 167 MU (8,037 MW), which is much less than the demand for the corresponding period last year. While the demand stood at 195 MU to 200 MU in October 2016, this month the demand has ranged between 116 MU and 160 MU.

While the torrential rain has helped bring down power consumption/generation in the last four months, the state is looking at enhancing its capacity from sources like solar (600 MW from Pavagada power plant) and gas (345 MW from Yelahanka) in the coming months.

It comes as a surprise that the Power Corporation of Karnataka Limited (PCKL), a state government undertaking, continues to push for the purchase of additional power over and above the approved 500 MW.

T H M Kumar, Managing Director, PCKL told DH that the demand which has already started peaking is expected to spike by next week. Given the uncertainty over coal supply, alternative sources are being explored, he said.

Kumar said that PCKL has also sought approval for the purchase of around 260 MW of power from the 'radial line' connecting Maharashtra and Karnataka. "As the rates are more competitive here, we have sought KERC's approval for floating a tender on this line. KERC has granted in- principle approval to float the tender," he said.

Kumar said that PCKL was hopeful that KERC will give approval for the purchase of another 500 MW, for which tenders have already been floated. "KERC has presently kept it (approval) on hold. Depending on the increase in load, that too will be procured," he said.

If the approval is given, power will be purchased from northern and western regions at Rs 4.08 per unit.

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