Monthly Archives: May 2013

Power firms to have six-day week now

In order to tone up their working, Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Limited (BSPHCL) and other associated firms have decided to have a six-day week now. All the BSPHCL employees, including general managers, as also those of its associated firms will work from Monday to Saturday. The new system would be implemented from Thursday.

The new office timings would be 10am to 5pm. The lunch hour has also been cut short to half-an-hour now – from 1.30pm to 2pm, said BSPHCL spokesman H R Pandey.

This has been done with an aim to provide better services to consumers through quick disposal of work, Pandey said. The casual leave entitlement of the employees working in five holding companies has been increased from the existing 12 days to 15 days.

“To increase the efficiency of the employees, BSPHCL has accorded top priority to reducing the consumers’ grievances and providing quality power to its consumers,” said a senior BSPHCL official.

In order to check the rampant cases of burned transformers, BSPHCL has asked all its technical staff to complete the pending repair of power transformers in both urban and rural areas by June 30. To strengthen the power distribution network in the state, both North and South Bihar Power Distribution Companies Limited have taken measures to minimize the cases of transformer fault.

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Measures in place to prevent electricity grid outages: Power Ministry

The Power Ministry today said various measures, including automatic load shedding schemes, are in place to prevent electricity grid outages.

Besides, the regional and state load despatch centres — which keep a tab on the load available on the grids — are advising utilities to check overloading in the network.

“Measures such as frequency based automatic load shedding schemes, system protection schemes, primary response from generators through Free Governor/ Restricted Governor mode of operation are, at present, in place to prevent grid outages and power swings,” the Power Ministry said in a statement.

Overdrawing of electricity beyond allocated quota was cited as one of the reasons for the massive grids failure in July 2012 that affected more than half of the country’s population.

According to the statement, “No specific rules/guidelines regarding overdrawal of power by states have been issued by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission after the grid disturbance incident during the month of July 2012″.

The Enquiry Committee, constituted by the Ministry, in the wake of the grid collapses last year has already come with various recommendations to prevent such incidents in future.

In this regard, Third Party Protection Audit (TPA) of the sub-stations has been completed in all regions of the country.


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CIL board approves signing FSA with power companies without PPAs

Coal India board has approved signing of FSA with power producers even in the absence of long-term purchase pacts between generation companies and distribution firms, but fuel supply will start only after inking of buying agreements.

“Board (Coal India) agreed ….(that) coal companies might sign FSA (Fuel Supply Agreement) without insisting for long-term PPAs,” Coal India said in a letter to its subsidiaries.

A power purchasing agreement (PPA) is signed between a power producer and a buyer usually a electricity distribution company.

The letter further said that, however, the commencement of coal to power generations companies will be subject to “furnishing long-term PPA with discoms.”

The proposal had come up for consideration during the board meeting held recently.

Coal India in the letter said that a decision at the level of Prime Minister Office was taken regarding signing of FSA with new power plants without waiting for PPA, subject to condition that the supply of coal will commence only after the plant is commissioned and long-term PPA is signed.

“It was further decided that the supply of coal will be restricted to the quantity required for generating electricity to meet the commitment as per PPA,” the letter said.

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Explore the Huge Potentials in India Smart Grid Market

India power sector is facing a series of big challenges in financing, big demand and supply gap in electricity power, serious AT&C loss etc. The country has been in an endeavor to move towards smart grid with government and industry initiatives for the past two years. Recently the government funding for more smart grid pilots has been delayed.

 

However, in the discussion with international investors and India local ICT companies who have ambitious in India’s smart grid program, WSGC India Week found out that key players and practitioners are optimistic on the future of smart grid roll-out in India. Real deployment of smart metering and AMI technologies is expected in the coming 1-2 years.

 

In a recent article on why India needs smart grid and why the opportunities are huge, Mr. P Uma Shankar, said “we welcome global participation to help innovate, with criteria including not just price-performance but also modularity, usability, scalability, open standards, and security. To make smart grids work will take both top-down and bottom-up effort. In the long run, smart grids will only work if it is something the utilities and the consumers WANT. “

 

The 3rd WSGC India Week, this year’s biggest India smart grid & smart metering event will continue bringing robust discussion and dialogue between ministry of power, central and state regulators, state and private utilities, smart grid system integrator, smart metering companies.

 

The event is to discuss key issues on power sector financing, smart technologies adoption, and smart grid regulation evolution.

 

Conference Name: The 3rd World Smart Grid Conference India Week

Date: Sep.10th- 12th, 2013

Location: Delhi, India

Hosting Organization: SZ&W Group

Event Website: http://www.szwgroup.com/2013/sgindia/

Tel: +86 21 5567 0232

E-mail: info@szwgroup.com

Inox Wind says will put up 500 mw; industry consolidation inevitable

Has 300 Mw orders, worth roughly Rs 1,800 crore, already on its books

INOX WIND part of the $2-billion Inox group, is planning to do 500 Mw of wind power plants this year with 300 Mw orders, worth roughly Rs 1,800 crore, already on its books. The company is the fourth largest wind equipment manufacturer in the country.

India’s wind installations dropped 47 per cent in 2012-13 to 1.7 gigawatts of wind capacity after the expiry of government incentives, according to Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association. This happened even as globally, a record 48.4 gigawatts of new wind capacity was added in 2012.

In a tough market where the industry leader Suzlon fell to the second rank, Inox is aiming to be the second biggest company in just two years of operations. “We are looking at doing 500 Mw in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh which will be the main market for Inox Wind this year. We may do a little bit of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh,” Devash Jain, director, Inox Wind told Business Standard. The company has done 320 Mw so far.

Jain said they were likely to achieve 500 Mw in about a month of which 100 Mw would be for its group company Inox Renewables that is putting up farms in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and has currently has 320 Mw generation capacity.

 

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Tata Power to add 200-250 MW of solar, wind energy

Tata Power’s generates 49.83 MUs of energy from its solar and 796 MUs from its wind energy projects

Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power utility company has announced that the company has plans to add 30-50 MW of solar power and 150-200 MW of wind energy in India every year as part of its sustainability initiative.

The total generation from the solar has touched 49.83 MUs and from wind projects has touched 796 MU’s till 31st March 2013 said Tata Power in a press release and further added Tata Power’s generation through clean sources in India such as hydro, wind and solar today stands at 873 MW.

The release further added that the company total investment in solar and wind energy so far is Rs. 2393 crore and is committed to generating 20-25 percent of its total generation capacity from clean energy sources.

Speaking on Tata Power’s commitment to clean and green energy, Anil Sardana, managing director, Tata Power said, “Our solar and wind energy assets are performing well and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through “clean and renewable energy” generation. Our aim is to have 20-25% of our generation portfolio from clean energy.”

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Gujarat’s wind power capacity grows highest in 4 years

Achieves 36% growth in 2011-12, total installed capacity reaches 2,966 Mw

In yet another leap in renewable energy sector, Gujarat has registered highest growth in wind power generation during past four years. Installed wind power generation capacities in the state has increased by 36 per cent during 2011-12 to 2,966 megawatt (Mw), making the state second only to Tamil Nadu in India’s wind energy sector.

As per the Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA) data, growth in wind power generation capacity has been highest since 2008-09. The state has outperformed the national average growth of 22 per cent for the wind power generation capacities.

Notably, Gujarat’s share in India’s total wind generation has increased from around 15 per cent in 2011 to 17 per cent in 2012. India’s total installed wind power capacities stand at 17,365 Mw for 2011-12.

Installed wind power generation capacity in Gujarat rose by 915 Mw since April 2011, according to data provided by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA). It further said that Gujarat’s total installed wind power generation capacity stood at 3,010 Mw in 2012-13. “Gujarat has the benefit of plenty of land available for wind power generation mainly in the Kutch region. Other states have more of individual land, which makes it difficult for wind energy generation to grow,” said Anil Kane, wind energy expert and former president of Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

 

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Suzlon Posts Its Biggest Quarterly Loss Ever

Suzlon Energy Ltd. Thursday posted its biggest quarterly loss ever as a slowdown in the global wind-energy market due to falling government incentives has hurt demand for its turbines and eroded the value of some of its assets.

Net loss for the January-March period widened to 19.12 billion rupees ($339 million) from 2.98 billion rupees a year earlier, the world’s fifth-largest wind-turbine maker by capacity said in a regulatory filing. It was Suzlon’s sixth straight quarterly loss.

Sales fell 36% to 43.36 billion rupees.

The company said it made a provision of 10 billion rupees toward asset impairment and doubtful debt in the past quarter. It didn’t make any such provisions a year earlier.

Many Western governments have either withdrawn on reduced subsidies and other support to wind-farm projects as they cut cost due to economic uncertainties. Until a few years ago, they were big promoters of wind energy as it is cleaner than power produced from most other sources.

In India, Suzlon’s home market, private and state-run companies have slowed wind-farm installations as the government withdrew a tariff-linked subsidy and cut a tax-incentive program.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for the Suzlon group,” Chairman Tulsi Tanti said in a statement as the company also posted its fourth straight annual loss.

“We faced both significant internal challenges on the liability management front, and externally with a highly competitive global wind sector and turbulent India market,” Mr. Tanti said.

Suzlon’s debt totaled 130.03 billion rupees at the end of March, while its finance cost went up 15% to 4.86 billion rupees.

 

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Ministers’ group finally okays Bill to set up coal regulator

After nearly one year of discussions, the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, finally cleared the Coal Regulatory Bill, paving the way for an independent authority to tackle issues of pricing, supply and quality.

The Bill will now go to the Cabinet for approval before being placed in Parliament. As Parliament is not in session, the Cabinet may consider an Ordinance so that a Coal Regulator can be set up immediately. If this happens, the Bill will need to go before Parliament within six months.

Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said the Bill is likely to be placed before the Cabinet in a ‘week or 10 days’.

On May 7, Chidambaram had said the proposed regulator would not have the power to set coal prices — the most contentious issue.

“Pricing must be left to the producer. The regulator will have powers to adjudicate on disputes related to price, quality, and supplies. All disputes will be adjudicated by the regulator. And then there will be an appellate authority,” Chidambaram had said.

After Wednesday’s GoM meeting, Scindia said the Bill balances the interest of all stakeholders. “It protects the interest of all stakeholders and at the same time gives a very judicious balance to the regulatory authority to be able to supervise the supply and demand of coal in the country.”

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Policy uncertainty hurting solar sector growth: Mercom

The Indian solar sector’s growth continues at a slow pace amidst policy uncertainty and experimentation. Policy ambiguity is rife, with rules being changed every other month, according to Mercom Capital Group, a clean energy consultancy.

Of the 1,761 MW installed base in the country, about 557 MW has so far been installed in 2013 while several projects have been delayed.

Emerging market

Considering India is an emerging solar market where the growth rate is expected to be much higher than other parts of the world, installations in 2013 will likely end up disappointing the markets, the Mercom update has noted. The current solar policy environment looks more like an experiment than a serious policy that will help create demand and solve the current power crisis in India, it states. The split and domestic content requirements are examples of this. Domestic content requirement policies, such as those that contributed to the delays, continue to be pursued. There is disconnect between the policies pursued and the original goal of procuring solar energy at the most cost-effective price. In fact, many policy changes have been contradictory.

The reverse bidding process was chosen so solar gear can be procured at the lowest possible bids but now all efforts are being made to ensure that developers can’t access the lowest priced equipment.

Viability Gap Funding

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently proposed a draft Phase II policy and has opened it up for comments. Instead of bidding for the lowest tariff, developers will now be bidding for the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) requirement.

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