Power starved a couple of months ago. Odisha is now facing a problem of plenty in the power sector and Gridco is in search of buyers to fill its empty coffers. But not many are forthcoming. And those who have, are quoting much less to buy state’s surplus power.
The bountiful monsoon has become the spoilsport. With reservoirs full to their capacity, the power situation has significantly improved across the southern states, the prospective buyers. With no demand from southern states, Gridco is in search of buyers to sell its surplus hydro power.
“As the monsoon is still going strong and water level in all the major reservoirs is in much better position, the State has the capacity to trade more than 300 MW of power. But the few offers Gridco received for sale of power is not very attractive,” said a senior officer of the utility.
While the cost of hydel power in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu is about ` 5 per unit, the offer made to Gridco is only ` 2 or ` 2.5 per unit. Selling power at this rate will not be remunerative, the sources said.
The State having hydel power generating capacity of 2,085 MW is generating more than 1600 MW during peak hours while the average daily generation is about 1300 MW. The Indravati hydel station with a capacity to generate 600 MW is running at 50 percent capacity while Rengali is generating more than its installed capacity of 250 MW.
As water spilling out of the reservoirs going waste, the same could be utilised for generating power for sale, the sources added. Gridco has almost stopped importing power from the captive generating thermal power plants for more than two months due to availability of cheaper hydel power.
Sterlite Energy of the Vedanta Group was the major contribution to the state power pool. Sterlite which was injecting 350 MW to the state grid a couple of months back is now selling power to outside buyers.
At times, Gridco is surrendering certain percentage of power available from the central pool as its share to save money.
Meanwhile, the GMR Group has commissioned two of its 350 MW each thermal power units of the power project at Kamalanga in Dhenkanal district.
The company is in the process of commissioning the third unit of similar capacity.
The total capacity of the GMR project is 1400 MW and the State has a share of 25 percent equivalent to 350 MW. Ind-Bharath Energy and Monnet Power are in very advance stages of commissioning their power projects.