The Uttar Pradesh government will add more than 8,500 megawatts (Mw) new thermal power capacity in the public sector by 2022.
The fresh capacity will consist of greenfield thermal power units totalling 1,980 Mw each in 2019 and 2020, and 3,960 Mw and 660 Mw in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
According to UP energy minister Shrikant Sharma, the thermal plants would augment government sector generation capacity by 8,580 Mw and help the state meet its energy supply commitments, apart form catering to incremental power demand.
The capacities are lined up at Meja (Allahabad/Prayagraj), Harduaganj (Aligarh), Ghatampur (Kanpur City), Obra (Sonbhadra), Jawaharpur (Etah) and Panki (Kanpur) thermal power projects in the state.
The Adityanath government is working on a two-pronged strategy to not only raise power generation capacity and plant load factor (PLF), but also to reduce the cost of production for greater commercial viability of plants, thereby offering lower tariffs to consumers.
Sharma said public sector thermal power plants’ load factor had risen by about nine per cent to almost 79 per cent, while generation cost had come down by 38 paise, from Rs 3.49 per unit in 2017-18 to Rs 3.11 in 2018-19, helping state power utility UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) save Rs 933 crore.
Net power supply in UP has attained a record high of 438 million units a day, which has helped the state government ensure adequate electricity availability for consumers, with the peak demand touching 22,500 mw.
Earlier, the rise in oil and coal prices and competition emanating from the ‘merit order dispatch’ system for thermal plants, UP Utpadan Nigam had already drawn a strategic roadmap to improve the functioning of its units against several parameters, including PLF, auxiliary consumption, oil and coal consumption, and heat rate so as to pare the cost of thermal generation during 2018-19.
Merit order dispatch is a mechanism of ranking available energy sources, especially electrical, based on ascending order of price together with the amount of energy that will be generated, giving advantage to lower cost of production and higher PLF.
Currently, the total installed capacity of thermal power plants run by the Nigam is more than 5,500 Mw at Harduaganj, Pariccha, Obra and Anpara. The private sector power plants have additional installed capacity of nearly 6,360 Mw at Anpara, Roja, Bara and Lalitpur.
However, net generation by these public and private sector plants is only about 12,000 Mw, while UP gets nearly 7,000 Mw from the central sector. The state imports power from other sources, including energy exchange and bilateral agreements, which currently stands at about 3,000 Mw. This way, UP was able to supply nearly 22,000 mw of power in the summer/monsoon season.