In a bid to avert any power crisis similar to the ones of October 2021 and this summer, the National Power Committee (NPC) on Friday will deliberate on creating a mechanism for optimising surplus generation capacity.

The high-level committee, headed by Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), will discuss a draft proposal on national level optimisation of surplus generation capacity to the States, discoms, State load dispatch centres (SLDCs) and gencos.

Power Ministry officials said the rationale is to optimise power consumption, particularly during the peak demand summer season.

Peak season crisis

“Every year there are issues in meeting demand forcing some States to resort to power cuts. The crisis is observed particularly during April, May, September and October. Though the generating capacity (over 400 GW) is available in the country, due to one to one agreement constraints, it cannot be utilised by the entity which is facing a crisis due to various reasons,” said an official.

Currently, a portal is operational in the western and eastern regions (WR and ER) to facilitate use of surplus power. To scale up the mechanism countrywide, it has been proposed to have a national level utilisation mechanism and a portal so that any discom can utilise surplus power from Central sector generating stations (CGSs) of any region, he added.

A State government official said the proposal charts an implementation schedule in three phases beginning with the supply of un-requisitioned surplus (URS) power from CGSs within three months (likely by January 2023). The second phase, which can be launched within six months, will have the option of supplying URS from inter-State generating stations (ISGS). The last phase is on requisitioning surplus power from State or private discoms to other States or discoms, which can again be leveraged within six months, he added.

Helping the needy

The draft proposal observed that due to the diverse nature of electricity demand in different States at different times, there is a possibility of optimum utilisation of resources.

“Many times it is seen that States which are surplus during some period of time are keeping their own generating stations under reserve shutdown, while there are other States which are facing crisis. However, in absence of any mechanism, the resources, even though available in the country, are not being utilised to meet overall demand in the country and there is load shedding. In mutual interest, the mechanism needs to be established which helps the needy States,” it added.