Come winter, PSPCL will have problem of plenty

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Sep 07, 2014 09:02 IST

After reeling under a power shortage the entire summer, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) will soon have a problem of plenty.

A day after the widespread rain, PSPCL, which was short of power in the summer, has floated tenders for selling around 5,000 MW power from October till March next year.

All this has been done to recover Rs 1,700 crore, which PSPCL has to pay as fixed charges if it surrenders power from the central share and private thermal plants in the state.

While around 2,300 MW power will be sold, around 2,500 MW would be banked to other state power corporations, which need more power during winter.

According to schedule, PSPCL foresees that it will have excess power from October. PSPCL estimates that it can sell or bank 300 MW power in October, 1,000 MW in November, 600 MW in December, 800 MW in January, 1,000 MW in February, and 900 MW in March. It is the minimum that the PSPCL wants to bank or sell off. The return of the banked power will start from June next year when the PSPCL needs maximum power owing to paddy season.

After addition of two power plants of almost 2,000 MW of operational units, where PSPCL has to pay minimum fixed charges — either to buy power or not — PSPCL has been left with the only option to either pay without using power or sell it to the other states.

In the tariff petition, PSPCL has drawn Rs 1,706 crore as expenditure on account of the fixed charges to be paid to private generating companies for surrendering of surplus power.

“During winter, the demand at times dips to even 3,000 MW. We can put off operation of our units, but we have to use the central allocations and power bought from these private power plants in Punjab, thus it’s better to sell it outside instead of paying without using it,” said a PSPCL official.

PSPCL already offers a concession to industry during the winter to encourage the use of power. To reduce the burden of the fixed cost arising out of surrender of surplus power, PSERC came up with the proposal to offer a rebate of Rs 1 per kWh to consumers. “The total loss of fixed cost of Rs 1,706 crore can be recovered if the whole of the surplus power of 12,807 MUs as projected by PSPCL in the ARR is sold within the state or outside it, which seems unlikely,” PSERC said.

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