Monthly Archives: March 2012

Revised Operating Frequency Band

As per Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Indian Electricity Grid Code) Regulations, 2010. All Users, SEB, SLDCs, RLDCs, and NLDC shall take all possible measures to ensure that the grid frequency always remains within the 49.5 –50.2 Hz band.

The above frequency band has been revised to 49.7 – 50.2 Hz w.e.f 02-04-2012 as per IEGC (First Amendment) Regulations, 2012.

Download:

IEGC regulation 2010

IEGC First Amendment Regulations 2012

Power Exchanges have moved form hourly scheduling to 15 min timeblock level scheduling from today

The power exchange in India will now work on 15 min scheduling rather than hourly day ahead scheduling. This will market more near to the practical exchange of power. The 15 min time block will now co-inside with the UI mechanism.

 

This will bring more stability in demand and supply management. The  two exchanges of India has made necessary changes in their systems to go for the arrangement.

JNNSM Phase-I Batch-II Details of Project Developers with existing Power Purchase Agrements

The allocation of solar PV projects in Phase-1 of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is done in two batches over two financial years – 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Solar PV projects of 150MW aggregate has already been allotted in FY 2010-11 as a part of batch I of JNNSM phase I and those projects are already on their way getting commissioned. Allotment for the remaining 350 MW Solar PV Projects is carried out through the second batch. The details of which along with Project Developers and existing PPA is provided below.

Details of Project Developers under JNNSM Phase-I with existing PPA

PSPCL to execute 1320 MW Mukerian thermal plant —Badal

PSPCL to execute 1320 MW Mukerian thermal plant —Badal
Saturday March 31, 2012
Patiala
Punjab Government is committed to set up 1320 MW Mukerian thermal project in state sector and will review the decision to give Gidderwaha thermal to NTPC , Badal said..
Parkash Singh Badal Chief Minister Punjab was addressing the gathering of over 1000 power engineers at the general body meeting of PSEB Engineers association. He lauded the efforts of Association towards making Punjab a power surplus state. He was aware of the fact that the Association first watches the interest of state, then interest of state electricity board and lastly their own interest .He specially lauded the selfless efforts of Padamjit Singh for his efforts to improve the power sector in Punjab.
Badal assured that his Government was serious to improve the financial condition of the PSPCL . Punjab had obtained an additional plan assistance of Rs. 500 crore, out of which Rs 300 crores would be earmarked for the electricity sector. Further Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs.200 crore for the PSPCL.
H S Bedi in his presidential address welcomed the decision of the state government to give top priority to capacity addition so that Punjab becomes power surplus. He suggested that thermal projects should be executed not only through private companies selected through competitive bidding but should be constructed under state sector and through joint ventures.
The financial situation of PSPCL is alarming with cumulative commercial loss of more than Rs. 11,000 Cr. and subsidy burden likely to touch Rs. 5,500 crore. The working capital loan which was just Rs. 600 crore in 2002-03 crossed Rs. 10,000 crore mark ending 2010-11. A bankrupt PSPCL will lead to destruction of the economy of the state
For optimum utilization of generating capacity, integrated operation of distribution & generation functions is a must so that generation wing operates its plants according to the needs of distribution wing. Bedi warned that it would be a step backward if generation is separated from distribution. Association is totally opposed to separation of generation from distribution business and he requested Chief Minister to shelve such proposal in case it is under the consideration of the government.
The pay structure of PSEB Engineers has been historically higher than their counter parts in the state and the central government. The reason for better pay scales was working conditions in power sector are much more arduous and stringent. Bedi demanded the pay scales given to newly recruited engineers be made higher than government scales and pay anomalies of senior engineers removed.

Steep power tariff hike for domestic consumers

Domestic consumers are among those whose electricity tariff will go up steeply from April.

Table: Existing and new tariff (Low tension supply)

 

The hike in the tariff ranges between 75 per cent and 110 per cent and there is not much change in the tariff revision, ordered by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), compared to the proposal mooted by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO).

According to the order issued by the TNERC on Friday, subsidy to domestic consumers who consume 501 units and above in two months, has been removed totally.

However, subsidy for the other categories of domestic consumers has been retained. For example, those consuming up to 100 units bimonthly will get a subsidy of Rs. 1.50 per unit for all 100 units.

FOUR-TIER SLAB SYSTEM

In total, a four-tier slab system for domestic consumers would replace the five-tier slab system.

TANGEDCO’s proposals on high tension consumers were also by and large accepted by the TNERC.

Briefing reporters of the details of the order, TNERC member K. Venugopal said the TANGEDCO would earn an additional revenue of Rs. 7,874 crore on account of the tariff revision, with the share of low tension consumers being around Rs. 5,300 crore and high tension consumers being Rs. 2,600 crore.

Table: Existing and new tariff (High tension supply)

The tariff revision would be able to recover the full costs for the TANGEDCO during the year 2012-13.

Mr. Venugopal said the average tariff revision worked out to 37 per cent over the previous tariff.

Another member S. Nagalsamy said the TANGEDCO has been directed to carry out a study on line losses and submit it to the Commission by October/November.

The other directions included abolition of monthly minimum charges; rationalising the definition of agricultural connection by including incidental activities, such as sericulture, horticulture and poultry farming, using water from agricultural pump sets.

 

Source: The Hindu

TN industry sore over ‘unequal’ power cuts

Share and share alike – even if it is a shortage. That seems to be the sentiment among the industries in the small, medium and micro segments demanding the equal sharing of the power shortage distress across the State and across sectors.

Why should Chennai or units close to Chennai get a preferential treatment while their counterparts in the industrial hubs in the West and South Tamil Nadu bear the brunt of the shortage ask industry representatives.

According to a spokesperson of the Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association, the main representative body for the sector, equal sharing of the distress situation will help the units elsewhere to manage their operations. The power cut is more extensive than expected with units receiving intermittent supply for about 30 hours a week.

What is needed is enforcement of the power holiday. Also the State Government should consider permitting VAT set off on diesel as an incentive for industrial units to utilise the gensets.

With the tax at Rs 8.75 a litre of diesel, a unit cost of power works out to about Rs 19. But with the set off, the power cost would come down to Rs 15 and the industrial units will use the 1,500 MW of generator capacity that is now being allowed to idle.

Mr Manikam Ramaswami, Chairman and Managing Director, Loyal Textiles, and an industry representative, says if it is two-hour power cut for Chennai, it is seven-eight hours for other cities and towns. A one hour increase in power cut in Chennai will bring down by two hours the power cut for rest of Tamil Nadu. The State Government should remove this discrimination and distribute the power shortage equally.

This will correct a ‘four-year-old’ mistake. “Every new power plant that the Government hopes to expedite will bring uniform joy to all,” he said in a statement. Huge production capacities are idling in the medium, small and tiny sector in West and South Tamil Nadu, these are under threat of going out of business.

CAPTIVE POWER

The power cost for large sections of the industry such as information technology units, corporate hospitals, flour mills, automobile and component industries is just a fraction of their total cost. Core sectors such as steel and cement have captive coal-based power.

But the worst affected by the power cuts are the textile and the engineering sector.

The textile sector operates on a 2-5 per cent margin and the power cost accounts for 12 per cent of its turnover. The power short fall is more than 70 per cent of its requirement. It is unviable for the industry to buy power on the exchanges.
Source: BL

HC refuses to interfere in electricity tariff hike

In a significant development, the Orissa High Court on Friday refused to interfere with the decisions relating to electricity tariff hike.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of the power hike by Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), a bench comprising of the High Court comprising of justices BP Das and B K Mishra ordered that the government should formulate policies for proper management of the water reservoirs and generation of hydro powers within three months.
The court further directed for collection of all outstanding electricity dues from various government departments and corporations by April end failing which energy supply will be disconnected with a notice of disconnection served at least seven days in advance.
The HC has also asked the state government to take steps to collect outstanding water cess dues from the companies within three months.

The court said, OERC and the state government should conduct enquiry into the instances of coal import by power plants when the state has abundant coal reserve. If the state is unable to do so, then court can appoint an independent authority to conduct this enquiry.

It may be noted, OERC on March 18, 2011 had increased tariff for retail and commercial users in the state for 2011-12 with huge changes, citing higher power purchase cost. The new tariff order was to be effective from April 1, 2011.

A PIL challenging the commission’s order hiking power tariff by 40 per cent for all types of consumers was filed on March 31 last year in the High Court.

On June 22 last year, the HC had vacated the stay on increase in power tariff for the commercial users, but continued the stay for domestic consumers.

According to the OERC direction, High Tension (HT) industries had to pay Rs 6.50 per unit in 2011-12, against Rs 5.30 per unit paid in the previous year. Similarly, tariff for Extra High Tension (EHT) industries was revised to Rs 6.40 per unit, up from Rs 5.10 per unit. But the commission, in suomotu proceedings, had later slashed the electricity charges for retail consumption between 50 and 100 units, by Rs 1.50 to Rs 2.00 per unit, keeping all other charges unaltered.

The HC order came close on the heels of the OERC’s new direction on power tariff hike for the 2012-13. As per the new rates, consumption of first 50 units will be charged at Rs 2.20 per unit while the next slab of 50 to 200 units will be charged at Rs 3.90. For 200-400 units, a consumer will have to pay at the rate of Rs 4.90 per unit whereas 400 units and above will be charged at Rs 5.30 per unit.
Source: BS

E-Hands develops wind-solar power generator for schools

A micro wind turbine provider has developed a 1-KW wind-solar hybrid system that can be installed in schools to generate captive power.

The energy generated is sufficient to power a computer, a fan and LED lights for few hours a day, according to Mr C. Raghuraman, president of E-Hands Energy, which makes these turbines.

The system costs about Rs 1 lakh and comes with a 600-Watt micro windmill and a 300-W solar panel, together weighing 30 kg.

The company is in talks with The Rockefeller Foundation and Clinton Foundation to work out a pact to promote these systems since the company does not make profits on this, Mr Raghuraman told Business Line.

E-Hands has launched an initiative called “Wind for schools” where the company will help schools set up a Wind Application Centre.

“Students will be taken through classroom training and field work and be trained on economic analysis of power tariff, metering power generated and evaluating the wind resource for new sites,” Mr Raghuraman said. “Depending on the schools’ awareness about wind power, we will hold knowledge transfer sessions to teachers,” he added.

Some schools choose this to be part of physics while others consider it outdoor extra-curricular education, he said.

The company has sold 19 such systems in the last two weeks and has installed them in several top-notch schools across the country such as Valley School, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya and The School-KF. “Eighteen more schools have placed orders,” Mr Raghuraman said.

Considering the fact that the megawatt wind farms are located in the hinterlands, children in schools may never have an opportunity to get close to these big wind turbines to understand how they work, Mr Raghuraman pointed out.
Source: BL

Power ministry considers financial bailout for discoms

The power ministry is considering financial bailout for distribution companies that are grappling with huge losses. The precarious financials of power distribution companies (discoms) has raised concerns of possible default in the banking system. When asked whether the government is looking at financial bailout for discoms, power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday said, “It is also being considered”.
He also expressed the optimism that financial health of discoms would improve gradually.

In December last year, the Shunglu Committee on Financial Position of Distribution Utilities came up with slew of suggestions, including setting of a special purpose vehicle to absorb losses of discoms.
The net loss of 15 discoms — which account for over 90% of country’s power consumption — after subsidies was R27,000 crore for the year ended March 31, 2010, according to the panel report.

The poor health of discoms is mainly attributed to low-tariff regime as well as high Aggregate Technical & Commercial losses.

Recently, the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (ATE) asked state regulators to ensure time and cost-reflective tariff determination.

Earlier this week, rating agency ICRA pegged the losses of discoms — before accounting for government subsidy — in the country at Rs 80,000 crore for the current financial year.Estimates were based on a study of power distribution companies (discoms) functioning in 11 states.

Gridco to get 200 Mw from WB via power banking

To meet the summer power need of the state, Grid Corporation of Orissa (Gridco) has finalised agreements with the central electricity grid network Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), which will provide 200 Mw energy from West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) for a month starting April 1.

As per the power banking agreement, Gridco will return five per cent more power between August and September this year to PGCIL, which in turn will pay the power cost to WBSEDCL.
All these power transactions would be carried out by open access norms.
If Gridco fails to return the required amount of power, then it will have to pay the equivalent amount of money, which will be billed at Rs 4.75 per unit. In case, the central grid expresses its inability to provide power to Gridco, then it will pay Gridco at Rs 2.25 per unit.

Orissa has been grappling with power shortages since November 2011, with few state and private thermal power stations halting operation due to technical problems. Currently, Gridco gets about 2,300 Mw power from its hydro and thermal stations, private power generators and from its share out of central government sponsored power stations.
Source: BS

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