Power-starved Karnataka is planning to add 1,600 Mw of generating capacity by the end of the current financial year. The state, which has a generating capacity of around 8,000 Mw from both public and private companies, buys around 1,000 Mw during the summer months to tide over the shortfall.
“We are buying costly power from private companies during the summer months. But we cannot afford to purchase for long. Before the next summer, the state is set to add about 500 Mw from the second unit of Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS), 600 Mw from Udupi Power Corporation Limited and another 500 Mw from the non-conventional sources. Our aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in power generation in the next three years,” said Shobha Karandlaje, minister for energy, government of Karnataka.
Speaking at a function in Shivasamudram, where she laid the foundation for a 5 Mw solar photovoltaic power station, she said the electricity supply companies (ESCOMs) and Karnataka Power Corporation Limited were all in debt and were unable to carry out modernisation and capacity expansion works.
The state is facing shortage of transformers and the sub-stations are 25-30 years old and need to be replaced urgently to increase the efficiency and bring down the transmission and distribution losses, she said. The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited would replace 167 sub-stations within the next two years in the state, she added.
“The KPCL is due to get receivable from ESCOMs to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore at the end of March 2010. We are charging interest on them for the outstanding dues,” said Yogendra Tripathi, managing director, KPCL.
The corporation has an installed capacity of 5,975.91 Mw of hydel, thermal, solar and wind energy, with 9,500 MW in the pipeline. The company is currently executing five projects with a combined capacity of 1,973 Mw power, which will be commissioned by the end of next financial year at an estimated investment of Rs 7,463 crore.
In addition to these projects, KPCL has also planned to set up 1,600 Mw thermal power project in Chhattisgarh, 800 Mw thermal units in Yeramarus and Yedlapur in Raichur district, 1300 Mw from Jewargi thermal plant and 500 Mw from the third unit in BTPS. All these projects are presently stalled due to non-availability of coal linkage, Karandlaje said.
In the non-conventional energy sector, the state is looking at setting up 300 Mw solar PV plants at various places, of which 100 Mw would be generated under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and the balance 200 Mw would be generated under its solar power policy.
KPCL has identified five sites in Shimoga, Haveri, Koodalasangama and Bijapur for new solar PV plants. Land acquisition is in progress and six private companies have come forward to form joint venture companies for development of solar power in the state. KPCL will extend technical support and avail clearances for these projects and also invest 24 per cent equity in the project cost and private firms would invest 76 per cent.
The peak demand, which was 5,949 Mw in 2005-06, increased to 8,094 Mw in 2009-10 and the deficit, which was 6.57 per cent in 2005-06 increased to 12.91 per cent in 2009-10.
Even the purchase of power from private producers could not suffice the required demand forcing the state to impose load shedding. The shortfall as compared to required demand increased from 1,326 million units in 2005-06 to 5,59 million units in 2009-10.