Hydro power generation in the state reaches its peak during July-August when the state is lashed by rains. However, deficient monsoon rainfall has dampened generation of inexpensive hydro power. The scanty rainfall has sparked fears of drought in many districts, specially those in the state's western part.
“We are consistently buying 300-400 Mw power from the energy exchanges to meet our requirement in the peak hours. Our reservoir levels are plunging and hydro power generation has crippled even during peak monsoon," said an official.
Gridco's buying spree from the spot power exchange will continue unless the monsoon gains momentum. However, Gridco can draw comfort from the fact that power will be made available to the state grid from two supercritical units of state owned Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) commissioned recently. Gridco has a firm power purchase agreement (PPA) spanning 25 years with OPGC for uptake of 1320 Mw (2x660) power. One 660 Mw unit has achieved Commercial Operation Date (COD) and is expected to feed power to the state grid shortly after reaching stability. Gridco is banking on the second expanded unit of OPGC to accomplish COD.
Besides OPGC, Gridco is hoping to get 800 Mw as the state's share from NTPC's upcoming 1600 Mw super thermal power station at Darlipalli near Sundargarh. Availability of power from OPGC and NTPC will put Odisha in a comfortable power surplus position.
Peak power demand in Odisha during this year's summer months has already climbed over 4000 Mw. The state had entered into power banking arrangement with northern states to meet the burgeoning demand. Under this extended swap arrangement, Odisha is mandated to return power to the benefactor states during peak monsoon season when its reservoirs are full.