Seeking to ensure that there is no repeat of the recent grid collapse on July 30 and 31 that brought nearly half of India to a grinding halt, Power Minister Veerapa Moily has said that state regulators are proposed to be given more powers through an amendment in the Electricity Act.
“There is a need to provide more power, more teeth to the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs). They should be given more liberty so that grid discipline is enforced by them,” he said.
An enquiry committee constituted to look into the reasons behind the grid collapse towards the end of last month had concluded that a combination of factors such as weak inter-regional corridors due to multiple outages, high loading on 400kV Bina-Gwalior-Agra link and inadequate response by State Load Despatch Centres to reduce overdrawal of power were the reasons for the blackout.
Moily said the ministry has already appointed a task force headed by Central Electricity Authority Chairman is consulting various stakeholders on the issue of empowering SERCs.
“Within two months the task force should give the report and in the meantime I have asked all the state regulators to work on the proposed amendment and evolve them with a holistic approach,” he said.
The government plans to introduce it in the winter session of Parliament, Moily added.
According to government data, the share of private power companies increased to 55 per cent from 21 per cent at the end of Eleventh Plan period (2007-12).
“The proposal now is that the orders of the state regulators should be treated as civil decree or which can be enforced by law,” Moily said.
He also further added that the government is considering doing performance appraisal of the state regulators.
As against the total installed capacity in India of over 200, 000 MW, the energy demand is expected to reach 400,000 MW by 2022.