The island city could soon get an additional 50 MW of power, if all goes well with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking. The undertaking has decided to enter into hydel power generation by setting up its own unit.
“We are looking at generating electricity with the help of Upper Vaitarna from next year,” said Sanjay Potnis, chairman, BEST.
This will help consumers in the island city. The BEST procures 900MW from Tata Power Company and faces a shortfall of 100 to 150MW, especially during summer. Ravi Raja, leader of Opposition in the BEST committee, said: “It is the need of the hour for BEST to start generating power as procurement prices are constantly rising and resulting in increase in power tariff.”
The BEST has allotted Rs 30 crore in the 2010-2011 annual budget for this. “We have been scouting for space for setting up a generating unit for a long time and finally decided on land near Upper Vaitarna,” a BEST official said, requesting anonymity.
Senior BEST officials recently had a closed-door meeting on this subject. “Our in-house technical staff will conduct a feasibility study in a month,” another senior BEST official said on condition of anonymity.
Setting up a hydel power plant will environmental clearances so it will be difficult for the BEST to set one up by 2011. The BEST had proposed a gas-based power plant at Deonar a decade ago to generate 360MW of power but found the project unfeasible.