Goa to open power bank

| 03 January 2001 15:01 IST

Goa is planning to experiment the power banking system, which only Tamil Nadu had earlier tried for one year, in order to streamline the private power generation in the state.

"We will begin the system from next month", says chief minister Manohar Parrikar, expressing hope that the system would definitely help the tiny state overcoming the ongoing power crisis.

Against the requirement of nearly 300 MW, hardly 70 MW is being generated privately in Goa. It includes a naphtha-based 50 MW plant run by the Reliance Salgaoncar Power Company Ltd and two captive plants runs by the Zuari Industries and the Sesa Goa, of 8 MW and 12 MW respectively.

The tourist state otherwise depends entirely upon the power generated from the national grid. Its wheeling capacity - from Karnataka and Maharashtra - is being now upgraded to get nearly 280 MW while further upgradation may take it to 400 MW.

After the draft power policy went through several alterations for a decade due to frequent changes in the government, the former coalition government had started implementing it in a piece-mail format. The ruling BJP was also part of that government.

After allowing the captive power generation and sale in July last year, the government has now decided to start the banking system. It would basically deposit the excess power generated by these private units in the bank (meaning on a paper), while they would be supplied this power in case of need.

"The rate structure however would be decided by the Power Regulatory Commission", says chief electrical engineer R A Ghali. The three-member commission would be notified next week, after which rates would be decided for high peak load, average load and off load periods.

On the other hand, the government is also planning to reduce the burden of purchasing power from the RSPCL as the high rate of Rs 4.50 per unit has forced the authorities to shell out Rs 150 crore annually for 40 MW when it purchases almost 200 MW from the national grid by paying only Rs 34 crore.

After reducing the burden of 6 MW by signing one revised PPA in September, the state has now agreed to provide sales tax exemption for six months to the RSPCL, provided 6 MW more is reduced from the government quota. "We want to reduce it to minimum 20 MW within one year", says Parrikar.

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