Punjab is touted as a ‘power-surplus’ state but Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is all set to power purchase electricity from other states to tide over the expected monthly shortage of nearly 1,000 lakh units (LU) ahead of the paddy season, which will start from June 15 and will last till October. The government has floated tenders in this regard.
PSPCL officials, however, said they have made arrangement “just in case of any exigency” during the paddy season. At present, power demand in the state is nearly 7,000 megawatts (MW) while power generation is around 8,500 MW. But this would increase to 11,000-12,000 MW in the paddy season, said PSPCL sources.
The sources added that as per the Central Electricity Authority, Punjab would be able to meet the requirement of its own power consumption in the 2017-18 fiscal and there would even be surplus power available with PSPCL round the year, except during the paddy season.
“The paddy season is going to begin and also summer is also at its peak so the demand for power will increase manifold,” said a senior PSPCL official, adding that they had made arrangements for over 12,000 MW for which around 33 LU daily and 1,000 LU monthly power will be required from outside. Now, only around 8,500 MW was available in Punjab, said sources.
The official added that PSPCL had floated tenders to buy 1,200-1,600 MW during the paddy season. It is learnt that from the Northern Corridor it may purchase 600 MW at Rs 3.16 a unit, while it also has the the option from buying the power from Western Corridor at Rs 2.68 a unit. Generating its own power costs PSPCL Rs 3.60 a unit.
Recently appointed PSPCL director Distribution Er NK Sharma said, “The arrangements for power from outside have been made just to meet any exigency during the paddy season in which farmers need eight hours of uninterrupted power supply daily.” He said that if there was a normal and timely monsoon this year, the state might not need much power from outside even during the paddy season.