Facing public criticism for its failure to fulfill the promise of an uninterrupted power supply during summer months, Punjab State Power Coropration Limited (PSPCL) has laid the blame at the doorsteps of the Northern Grid for power outages in the Punjab.
PSPCL had made arrangements to buy power, but the northern regional load dispatch center didn't allow Punjab to transmit this electricity, claimed corporation CMD KD Chaudhri.
Punjab these days is facing a deficit of 700 MW of power and has imposed three to seven hours cuts in cities and rural areas.
"Though the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited is willing and has adequate resources to get additional power for uninterrupted supply to all categories of consumers, it is helpless in meeting the total load demand of 2,150 lakh units (LUs) per day due to transmission constraints imposed by northern regional load dispatch center, resulting in unavoidable power regulatory measures which PSPCL has been forced to impose," he remarked.
He said that the power demand this year had increased by 20%, which was unprecedented and could not be anticipated.
"The PSPCL has planned to supply up to 2,000 LUs per day whereas the actual demand is 2,150 LU per day and is likely to go up further. As such, there is a deficit of 600 to 700 MW.
"In order to meet this gap, PSPCL did arrange power from the exchange on 'day-ahead basis', but there are constraints imposed by northern regional load despatch center to transmit this power from outside. While the available transferable capacity permitted by the NRLDC for flow of power into Punjab is 5,400 MW, it has been limited to 5,100 MW only," he said.
He said that on June 21, the PSPCL had purchased 190 LUs (750 MW) from the exchange on 'day-ahead basis' @ Rs. 3.84 per unit, but NRLDC allowed transmission of only 110 LUs (450 MW) due to constraints.
Chaudhri said that as soon as monsoon arrived, the load on the system was likely to reduce and PSPCL shall be able to ensure uninterrupted power supply to its consumers from the arrangements already made.
However, there were several chinks in the claims of the PSPCL chief as two of thermal power units of its Bathinda plant and one unit of Ropar plant are non-operational due to maintenance or technical snag."These units can generate power up to 450 MW, which is enough to reduce power cuts, as PSPCL itself is admitting that it is short of 700 MW," said an official.