Around two months after its formal inauguration, the Rajpura thermal plant started commercial operation on Friday and got synchronized with the northern grid to supply power.
The plant, being run by the Larsen and Toubro (L&T) with the latest super critical technology, was tested at full load of 700 MW continuously for 72 hours without any interruption and thereafter it underwent two sets of 'ramp up and ramp down' tests before being granted commercial operation status by engineers, said KD Chaudhri, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
He said that it is a great moment for the people of the state as the first unit of the plant has started commercial operation.
He claimed that 700 MW have now been added to the available power in the state and another 700 MW would be available with the commencement of the second unit of the plant in May this year.
"The people of Punjab will finally say goodbye to power cuts in the state in the coming summer season", he added.
The foundation stone of this greenfield project was laid by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on March 3, 2010 and it was inaugurated on December 8, 2013.
During this endurance test of 72 hours, the unit operated on an average load of 710 MW and demonstrated the average tested capacity of 664.82 MW.
Chaudhri said that with the commissioning of the unit 1 of the Rajpura thermal plant, Punjab will be able to export power to the other states during the winters, as the power availibity from the state's own generation, long term power purchase agreements, central allocations, has now increased to nearly 8400 MW. "It would be further increased to 9000 MW as we expect the commercial operation of Talwandi Sabo plant by the end of February", he added.