State to buy 1k MW of power daily

"The State hopes to be power sufficient in the next three years and till then we will buy 1,000 MW (daily), irrespective of whether there are good rains or not," the Yeddyurappa told reporters after a meeting to review the power situation.

The State buys power from private producers and states like Gujarat, which have surplus power. With a power shortage of up to 300 MW daily, most of the State, including Bangalore go without electricity for up to three hours a day.

Bangalore requires over 1,600 MW daily but the supply is around 1,400 MW, said Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) officials. While the power supply was erratic in Bangalore, the situation outside Bangalore was worse with four to six hours of power cuts a day.

Power generation hit

Yeddyurappa said the monsoon has not been normal so far in the State, affecting power generation. The State depends heavily on hydel power with around 65 percent of its requirement of over 7,000 MW met by it daily.

Two major thermal plants, one at Raichur, about 400 km from here, and another at Bellary, 320 km away from here, have also been erratic in power production.

Raichur, with an installed capacity of over 1,500 MW, is producing only 870 MW while the Bellary plant, which had stopped producing power for several days, is generating only 280 MW against an installed capacity of 500 MW, Yeddyurappa said.

At a higher cost

Though the State claims that it is procuring power at a cost of Rs 4.77 per unit, sources in the sector say that it could even be at a higher cost considering the non-availability of power.

Some of the top officials are of the opinion that power at the cost of Rs 4.77 per unit is expensive and they doubted whether it would get approval of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission  (KERC).

Short term demands

Power procurement requires approval by the KERC as per the Electricity Act. M R Sreenivasa Murthy, Chairman, KERC said “We had permitted purchase of power at Rs 6 per unit only for short term demands, but for the long term demands,” he said.

Murthy said that the approval will be considered based on the financial viability of the Electricity Supply Companies and keeping in mind the impact on tariff of the consumers.

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