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NTPC regulates load in the east as southern states buy more green power

Move follows shift in southern states from thermal power to solar and wind energy

Jayajit Dash  |  Bhubaneswar 

NTPC Limited

NTPC Ltd, the country's largest power producer has opted for a strategic reduction in load at its coal-fired stations especially those located in the eastern region. A bulk of the power generated at these NTPC stations is exported to power starved southern states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. But with these states sourcing more during day time when there is surplus solar and wind generation, NTPC is operating at a lesser load. "Green power is plentiful during day time, which is why the southern states are buying it. We are going for planned reduction in load at our plants. But, we are closely watching the demand-supply scene. Power supply from renewable sources is erratic as it depends on weather conditions. At NTPC, we can ensure a continuous supply of power.

That apart, we are the most cost efficient company and this explains the consistently high (PLF) at our units”, said an NTPC source. NTPC Kaniha with an installed capacity of 3,010 Mw (10 Mw solar capacity), is one of the select power stations going for load regulation. This super station, one of the largest in the country, has been consistently operating at a in excess of 90 per cent over the years. Presently, this power unit is operating at 85-86 per cent NTPC’s average across all its plants has fallen from the peak level of 92 per cent in 2007-08 to 78.5 per cent at the end of 2015-16. But, NTPC's load has been higher the industry average of 60 per cent. Most of the NTPC owned coal-fired stations are operating at higher (Plant Load Factor) compared to generators in the private sector. NTPC is lessening load at the coal-based plants at a time when the demand for conventional is diminishing and the chorus for adoption of emerging green energy sources like solar power gets louder. In the list of the top 10 performing stations, six NTPC operated plants figure. Two of the NTPC owned power plants in Odisha- Talcher Station and the 3,010 Mw super station at Kaniha have been consistently maintaining in excess of 90 per cent. A report by on the power sector released in 2017 says of plants has dipped from 77.5 per cent in 2009-10 to 59.88 per cent in 2016-17.

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 20:51 IST