PSPCL top official bends rules to favour Amritsar based private solar power plant
When it comes to bending rules, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited can beat David Beckham! To favour a Amritsar based private firm — Abundant Energy Private Ltd — the power corporation bent rules and violated norms by working on a national holiday (Independence Day). This all was done to let the private solar plant save Rs 1 crore. The firm is reportedly owned by a person having close proximity to Akalis.punjab Updated: Mar 30, 2017 08:36 IST
When it comes to bending rules, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited can beat David Beckham! To favour a Amritsar based private firm — Abundant Energy Private Ltd — the power corporation bent rules and violated norms by working on a national holiday (Independence Day). This all was done to let the private solar plant save Rs 1 crore. The firm is reportedly owned by a person having close proximity to Akalis.
Perusal of the records highlights that the power corporation management acted under political pressure.
Abundant Energy Plant commissioned its 2-MW solar power plant in March 2015 and erected an independent 11KV line for power transmission to 66KV grid sub-station at Narli in Amritsar. Punjab Energy Development Agency approved it and chief engineer (planning) awarded another 1-MW project to the same firm.
As per the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the PSPCL and implementation agreement signed by the firm with PEDA, it is the responsibility of the developer to erect line at its own cost by arranging right of way at its own level.
As per PSPCL norms, a solar plant below 2MW can sell electricity through 11KV line. For solar plants of higher capacity, the developer has to build a 66KV line as voltage drop through 11KV line will be 7.96% against the permissible limit of 6%.
In this case, failing to erect an independent line for its second project, the firm requested PSPCL to allow pooling of power generated from both projects (totalling 3 MW ) and let transmission through the existing 11 KV line. The chief engineer (planning) objected to the proposal citing rules. He also mentioned that similar requests in the past had been turned down, and if this was allowed, the other firms will seek refund from PSPCL for making them erect 66KV transmission line. The agenda was kept pending at the whole time directors’ (WTD) meet on August 2, 2016.
However, as the political pressure grew, PSPCL chief engineer (border zone) Jagjit Singh Suchu, crossing his domain, presented a new agenda, on August 15, 2016, — a national holiday — and made the firm deposit ₹25 lakh as estimation cost the same day. To help the firm further, he recommended transmission through the 11KV line as a stop-gap arrangement. And corporation whole time directors approved the agenda, despite the fact chief engineer (planning) had turned down the firm’s request. The approval was for four months, but its almost seven months and the PSPCL is yet to direct the firm to erect a 66KV line, which costs roughly Rs 1 crore.
“The PSPCL management extended the firm double benefit — it earned for the period it was supposed to erect the 66KV line and saved Rs 1 crore. And most interesting is that the nod was given on a national holiday,” said an official.
Chief engineer Jagjit Singh Suchu said he would reply on the issue on a working day.