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Odisha power rates drop at energy exchanges due to evacuation problems

According to reports, the rates of power generated from Odisha have been declining in the energy market over the past couple of months because of evacuation problems precipitated by poor transmission infrastructure, said the state-run power traderGridco Ltd.

The rates, which were as high as Rs 6.30 per unit in November 2012, came down to Rs 4.50 per unit this week.

“Though we are at a comfortable position to sell some power because of shrinking demand in winter season, we can hardly do so in the absence of proper inter-state transmission infrastructure. So, while the rates are going up in other regions of the country, we have to sell power at lower rates,” said P K Pradhan, director, commerce, Gridco.

Due to uncertainty in power supply from Odisha to other states, the buyers have shied away from doing business with Gridco, he explained.

The state is currently getting about 2,800 MW from different hydro power stations, thermal power generators and captive power plants situated in the state. The average daily demand, which was as high as 2,800 MW during the summer has come down to 2,300 MW in the winter season, providing an opportunity to Gridco to sell power through energy exchanges to northern , western and southern regions, where power demand often surpass supply. “But every time we place an order to sell, the exchange notifies us about congestion in the power supply system,” Pradhan said.

Gridco sells surplus power available during off-peak hours on Indian Energy Exchanges (IEX) and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL). It sold 4 million units of electricity during November, while the volume declined to less than one million units in December.

Due to lesser power consumption, Gridco has asked the hydro power plants to reduce generation and save water in the reservoirs for irrigation purpose for the upcoming summer season. If demand situation continues to remain stagnant, then it might consider asking captive power plants of several industries to curb power supply to the state grid for next 30 to 60 days.

“We might ask some captive power plants to regulate power supply to us as we cannot afford to buy power at high rates when there is uncertainty about selling it given the evacuation issues,” he said.

At present 12 industries having own power units are supplying about 250 MW power to the state grid.

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