BHUBANESWAR: The State government on Monday admitted that power distribution companies were authorised for load shedding for a couple of hours in April due to acute shortage of power.
Replying to the admissibility of adjournment motion moved by Mukesh Mahaling and Sanatan Bijuli of the BJP on frequent power cuts and higher power tariff, Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb informed the Assembly that power crisis became acute in the State from April 23 this year when one of the two units (2 x 800 MW) of Darlipali super critical power plant in Sundargarh district went out of the State grid due to technical snag.
The NTPC's Darlipali unit took a forced shut down at a time when the State was experiencing a heatwave condition and the demand for power was exponentially growing at 400 MW or more. The net loss of about 440 MW power from Darlipali plant further accentuated the crisis and this could not be made up due to shortage of power across the country.
"Though Gridco was ready to buy costly power of 400 MW to 600 MW during peak hours from open market through the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), there was no availability of power. This is despite the market clearing price (MCP) is exorbitantly high as Rs 12-16 per unit," Deb said.
With many states of the country facing acute shortage of power, the IEX offered to sale only 40 to 60 MW to Gridco as against its requirement for over 400 MW. The increasing demand for power could not be met despite stepping up generation from hydro power stations of the State, he added.
Asserting that the State has not experienced any unscheduled power cuts from April 25, 2022, the Minister said the State government had instructed distribution companies to ensure uninterrupted supply of power in view of annual examinations and matric examination of students.
"The three months period from April to June was the most challenging period for energy sector in the country. Power supply regulation in many other states much more than Odisha where only 5 to 8 per cent consumers faced scheduled power cuts for 10-12 days in April," the Minister said.
However, he admitted that the aggregated technical and commercial (AT&C) loss in Odisha is much higher than the national average.