August 28, 2020 Read More →

Indian state of Maharashtra says no to new thermal power plants, pushes renewables

ETEnergyWorld.com:

Energy minister Nitin Raut has announced that no more thermal power generation units would be set up in [Maharashtra] as there is a huge gap between supply and demand due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession.

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 35,000MW, but is purchasing only 14,500MW due to low demand.

Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has set a target for MSEDCL of meeting 25% of its demand from renewable sources in next five years. Hence, the government has decided to promote renewable energy only.

Civil supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal and MLAs of Deolali, Igatpuri and Amalner had met Raut urging him to replace the old units in Nashik thermal power station by a new unit of 660MW. The energy minister turned down this demand.

Earlier, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had rejected proposal to set up two new 660MW units at Koradi. He had told Raut to set up solar power plants instead as it is cheaper. Raut then chalked out plans to set up several solar power plants in the state in three phases.

Raut told Bhujbal that power demand had gone done by 33% and several thermal units were lying idle. However, MSEDCL had to pay fixed charges to the generation companies for these units, which was a huge burden on power consumers. He further said the generation cost of old units was very high and hence MSEDCL could not purchase power generated by these units under merit order dispatch (MOD) regime. Same was the case with new units as capital cost was very high. So, it was not possible to set up a new unit at Nashik, he said.

[Ashish Roy]

More: Maharashtra: No new thermal power units in state, says Raut

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