Coal Companies to respond on allegations of poor quality and less quantity coal: Bombay HC
Kshitij Dhingra
April 19th, 2014
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The Bombay High Court has directed coal companies to respond to serious allegations made by the Maharashtra Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) pertaining to short supply and inferior quality of coal, which has resulted in a huge power mess. A division bench here comprising Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice C V Bhadang while recently hearing a PIL filed by Anil Wadpalliwar on the turf-war between coal and power utilities and the resultant loss to public exchequer as well as people at large, ordered the coal companies to file their reply by April 25 and posted the matter for April 30. The High Court had last year too asked the coal companies to come clean on short-lifting of raw domestic coal which is available in plenty with coal utilities near pit-head, justification about importing coal at exorbitant cost; and passing the burden on hapless consumers besides steps taken to increase generation and ensuring

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NTPC’s 800 MW Koldam project may get delayed by an year
Kshitij Dhingra
April 18th, 2014
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Commissioning of state-run National Power Thermal Corporation (NTPC) 800 MW Koldam project may get delayed by an year as the repair work at the site is expected to take more time than earlier projected.

The company, which started the process of filling up of the reservoir, could not complete the exercise as the reservoir was unable to hold water for the project.

According to company sources, the work will be delayed and the project commissioning may be postponed by at least an year from its earlier schedule of April 2014.

"This may amount to a loss of Rs 150 crore to Himachal Pradesh government," the source said.

Started in 2003, the project will have a cost over-run of about 20 per cent. The approved investment of the plant was Rs 4,527 crore.

It has been delayed mainly due to environment and geological hurdles. The project

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MNRE is influencing the change in fortunes of solar energy players under REC Mechanism
Kshitij Dhingra
April 18th, 2014
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The ministry of new and renewable energy is lobbying for changing the fortunes of solar energy players under the renewable energy certificates or the REC mechanism. These certificates might be costlier than the actual purchase, but the ministry is confident that the regulator will be able to enforce the sale of these certificates. Secretary in the ministry Upendra Tripathy told the gathering at the Solar Energy Summit at PHD Chambers, Delhi, that the ministry was in touch with the central electricity regulatory commission and forum of regulators, to work out the probability. The secretary refused to divulge the details - citing the model code of conduct due to ongoing general elections-but said that once the new government comes in, there will be a comprehensive policy around this. Buying RECs is mandatory for all power distribution companies under the existing electricity act. This is done to promote renewable energy. The REC mechanism is a

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Karnataka, Gujarat to disallow open access to hit Industries
Kshitij Dhingra
April 18th, 2014
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Karnataka and Gujarat Government's decision to disallow sale of electricity through open access could negatively impact operations of close to 200 industrial consumers, industry chamber CII said. With this decision coming into effect, industrial electricity consumers (consumption of over 1 MW) in Gujarat will now buy power from within the State at Rs 6-7 per unit as opposed to the Rs 4-4.5 per unit charged by power exchanges, it said in a statement. Karnataka, on the other hand, has restricted power sales within the boundaries of the State, and hence curbing the choice of power generators to sell power to consumers outside the State. Anil Sardana, Chairman, CII National Committee on Power and Managing Director, Tata Power Company Ltd, said, "Open access is at the centre of the new Electricity Act 2003 and must therefore be supported and pursued by all stakeholders in the electricity business. The consumer's choice to explore competitive

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HPGCL forced to shut thermal units to favour private suppliers
V K Gupta
April 18th, 2014
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HPGCL forced to shut thermal units to favour private suppliers Friday April 18, 2014 Chandigarh With Haryana’s thrust on power purchase from private sector suppliers Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL) has been forced to shut down its thermal units on no demand. Haryana’s own thermal units are generating about 900 MW only as 9 out of 12 thermal units in state sector are under forced shut down allegedly due to no demand. This is the result of power purchases being made from Adani and other private sector generators. Haryana is under contract to purchase 1424 MW from Adani-Mundra (Gujarat) , 90% of power from 1320 MW China Light Power station at Jhajjar is also contracted to Haryana , and an additional 750 MW from Aravali Jhajjar station of NTPC. Haryana may be in power surplus situation this summer and consumers may not face power cuts but they will have

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MSERC approves power tariff hike by 15% in Meghalaya
Kshitij Dhingra
April 18th, 2014
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The Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSERC) has approved a 15 per cent hike in power tariffs, rejecting the state government's proposal for a whopping 89 per cent increase in electricity rates. "The Commission has approved an average increase of about 15 per cent of the power tariff in the state for the current fiscal year," MSERC Chairman Anand Kumar told PTI. He said the Commission has also approved a 13 per cent hike of power tariff of around 2.5 lakh domestic consumers while the tariff for 20,000 odd commercial consumers and 158 industrial consumers have been hiked by about 15 per cent. The power tariff for around 60,000 BPL consumers (Kutir Jyoti metered consumers) has been raised the least with the Commission approving only 12 per cent hike, Kumar said. The approved increase in power tariff will be effective from April 1, 2014 till March 31, 2015. The Meghalaya Public Distribution

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India Signs Power Contracts for 700 Megawatts Solar.
Apoorv K Singh
April 16th, 2014
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India signed contracts to purchase solar power from companies building 700 megawatts of capacity awarded in a national auction. The government is waiting to sign purchase agreements for the remaining 50 megawatts from the auction in February, Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said today in an interview in New Delhi. The agreements, which lock in rates for the power generated for 25 years, bind developers to complete the plants within 13 months. Two developers dropped out after winning bids, including St. Peters, Missouri-based SunEdison Inc. (SUNE), which said last week it gave up a 20-megawatt project because local equipment shortages and prices make it unviable. The other developer that Kapoor didn’t identify forfeited its project after failing to get permission from its parent to proceed, he said. Kapoor ruled out extending the 13-month commissioning deadline after an industry lobby requested more time this month

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AIPEF writes to Modi on power sector reforms
V K Gupta
April 16th, 2014
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AIPEF writes to Modi on power sector reforms Wednesday April 16, 2014 Chandigarh All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) in a letter to Narinder Modi has suggested that a high level committee be constituted to review the power sector reforms and recommend corrective measures to chalk out a road map for “Power to all at affordable rates “. AIPEF has forwarded a copy of a resolution to Modi that was adopted in its federal council meeting demanding immediate stoppage of blind privatization, introduction of franchisee system in power distribution and outsourcing of departmental works. AIPEF will oppose crony capitalism, blind privatization policies & address the crisis being faced by Indian Power Sector that is threatening to undermine the economic survival of the Nation. The copies of resolutions have also been sent to Prime Minister and all Chief Ministers. Shaliender Dubey Chairman AIPEF personally delivered copy of resolution to Rajnath Singh BJP

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Streamline peak load hour chart: Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission to discoms
SUMIT KUMAR
April 16th, 2014
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Power consumers across the state can expect fewer shutdowns or cuts in the summers as Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has directed the electricity distribution companies (discoms) - Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) - to streamline the peak load hours plan and notify it on weekly basis. If the new directions are implemented, domestic and industrial consumers, especially those in NCR cities like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Panipat and Karnal along with Panchkula and Ambala will get relief in summer when power demand rises manifold. Both discoms have around 45 lakh electricity consumers of various categories. During summer, residents are forced to bear the brunt of unannounced power cuts even after notified load shedding hours. Haryana has an average demand of 4,500-5,500MW of power, which goes up to 8,000MW during peak hours in summer and post-monsoon months. HERC has issued the directions during the

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Gas shortage cripples power plants in capital
SUMIT KUMAR
April 16th, 2014
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The Delhi government's 1500MW gas-based plant in Bawana has been in the news for the past few years because of the gas crisis. The plant was pitched as a solution to the capital's dependence on other states for meeting its power demand. But, shortage of gas to operate the plant has made it more of a liability. Discoms have not yet sourced power from the plant this season. But with the temperature rising, they may be left with no choice. The peak demand this year is expected to be about 6200MW. Currently, discoms are able to source power from other places at a cheaper cost. "The plant functions irregularly because of gas shortage. This raises the cost of power generation. Regular gas supply would bring down the costs substantially. However, the government doesn't run the plant to full capacity and that deters us from sourcing power from it,'' said a

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