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Power ministry issues order to operationalise all gas-based power plants to meet increased electricity demand during summer

The decision has been taken in view of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMO) predicting above-normal maximum temperatures over most parts of the country during the 2024 hot weather season till June 2024.

In order to help meet the high electricity demand in the country during the summer season, the Government of India has decided to operationalize the gas-based power plants in the country. To ensure maximum power generation from Gas-Based Generating Stations, the Government has issued directions to all Gas-Based Generating Stations under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003, said a statement issued by the power ministry.

Under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the appropriate government may specify that a generating company shall, in extraordinary circumstances operate and maintain any generating station in accordance with the directions of that Government.

The order under Section 11, which is on similar lines as done for imported-coal-based power plants, aims to optimise the availability of power from Gas-Based Generating Stations during the ensuing high demand period. The order shall remain valid for the generation and supply of power from May 1, 2024, to June 30, 2024.

The decision has been taken in view of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMO) predicting above-normal maximum temperatures over most parts of the country during the 2024 hot weather season till June 2024.

As per the ministry, a significant portion of the Gas-Based Generating Stations is currently unutilized, primarily due to commercial considerations. At present, 85% of demand during non-solar hours is being met through coal and lignite generation. “It is necessary to ensure that the operational capacity of the Gas-Based Generating Stations (GBSs) is utilized during the crunch period to optimise the availability of power during ensuing high demand period,” said the order issued by the ministry.

As per the arrangement, GRID-INDIA will inform the Gas-based Generating Stations in advance, of the number of days for which Gas-based power is required. Gas-Based Generating Stations holding Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Distribution Licensees shall first offer their power to PPA holders. If the power offered is not utilised by any PPA holder, any other Distribution Licensee may schedule such capacity.

If no Distribution Licensee schedules the power, the Gas-Based Generating Station shall then offer such power in the power market. Any surplus capacity shall be made available to GRID-INDIA to provide grid support.

A high-level committee headed by Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority has been constituted to facilitate the implementation of this direction.

The decision to operationalize gas-based generating stations is part of a series of measures taken by the Government of India, to ensure that the electricity demand in the summer season is met. The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy Shri R. K. Singh held a series of meetings on this, emphasizing the need for ensuring adequate availability of power to meet the load during the hot-weather season.

Apart from operationalising gas-based power stations, the government has also taken several other steps to meet the increased demand for electricity during the summer. This includes:

  • Planned Maintenance of Power Plants to be shifted to Monsoon Season.
  • New Capacity Additions to be Speeded up.
  • Partial Outages of Thermal Power Plants being brought down.
  • Surplus Power with Captive Generating Stations to be Utilized.
  • Surplus Power to be offered for sale in Energy Exchange.
  • Section 11 Directions for Imported-Coal-Based Power Plants, to make full capacity available for generation.
  • Shifting of hydro power generation to peak hours.
  • Advance planning by all stakeholders to ensure coal availability.

India’s electricity demand has been rising rapidly, driven by economic growth, particularly during hot-weather and high-demand periods. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted above-normal maximum temperatures over most parts of the country during the 2024 hot weather season. The above measures are being taken in this context, in anticipation of the high electricity demand during the season.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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