Punjab’s state power sector might have to suffer from higher PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements). In 2017 Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) suffered loss of over Rs. 2836 crores. But, the state power sector was able to bring down the losses to Rs. 908 crores during the current fiscal because of surplus power available.
The main factors behind the improving financials of the state power sector are the resumption of the Shahpur Kandi Hydel Project and re-operationalisation of Pachhwara coal mine. Shahpur Kandi Hydel would contribute an annual savings of Rs.850 crores and Pachhwara coal mine would save upto Rs. 650 crores.
Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has made it obligatory for the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to source 2.70% of total generation from solar energy and 4.3% from non-solar power sources. Hence, PSERC has made it mandatory for PSPCL to buy 927 million units of electricity from solar plant. And also, purchase the remaining 1548 million units under PPAs signed with IPPs.
The power corporation in its tariff petition for 2019-20 has stated that the corporation will buy 1440 million units of of solar power at the average rate of Rs.6.93 per unit amounting to Rs. 968 crores and 1090 million units from biomass units at average rate of Rs. 5.95 per unit amounting to Rs. 638 crores. The costly injunction of renewable energy will cost Rs.1606 crores. Also, in the current financial year the supply from renewable energy sources is likely to be 2211 million units for Rs 1407 crores.
Due to previously signed PPAs, the cost can not be re-negotiated. The PPAs signed for 25 years has an average cost of around Rs. 6.73 per unit. Currently, the power generated by solar and biomass is outshining the generation from thermal and hydro based plants. The remaining power is being supplied from independent power providers.
Another reason for losses incurred by the state owned thermal plants is operational failure. Hence, contributing in the losses incurred by the state power sector. The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) initiated implementation of solar plants in three phases. A net sum of 325 MW of solar energy has already been commissioned and the remaining are still in the construction phase.
Source: Times of India
A group of tech enthusiasts who are tracking latest developments in CleanTech with special focus on Energy Storage and Electric Mobility