VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday asked officials to estimate electricity demand and prepare an action plan to procure coal. He also wanted them to complete the current power plant work and focus on alternative power generation, including taking on pumped storage hydroelectric projects in the state.
Jagan, who held a review meeting on electricity demand and supply, said the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to acquire 45 million units of electricity in three phases in three years.
As per the MoU, 18 MU each will be procured in the first and second phases and 9 MU in the third phase by the end of 2023. Two more power plants, one at Krishnapatnam and the other at VTPS d ‘capacity of 800 MW each are fast coming to the state. About 48 MU of additional power will be available soon. Officials are expected to focus on completing the new 1,350 MW power project in Sileru. An action plan should be drawn up to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to industries, he said.
The Chief Minister has directed officials to maintain the power stations under APGENCO’s responsibility at maximum efficiency and ensure 85% Power Load Factor (PLF) capability so that quality energy can be provided at low cost. To ensure future power security, emphasis should be placed on alternative energy generation such as pumped-storage hydroelectric projects. Officials should study 29 places where these projects are feasible. About 33,240 MW of power can be made available provided these projects are completed. Once this project is in place, electricity will be available for 90 years, he explained.
Explaining the reasons for the shortage of coal and the increase in electricity consumption in the state, the officials informed him that they were procuring electricity to meet demand. Electricity was purchased at an average cost of Rs 36.5 crore per day in March and Rs 34.08 crore in April. A total of 1,268.69 MU was procured in March at a cost of Rs 1,123.74 crore and 1,047.78 MU at a cost of Rs 1,022.42 crore in April to meet demand.
Under the DBT scheme, the chief minister said that the total amount of the electricity bill would be deposited in the farmers’ bank accounts. “Farmers paying bills will allow them to interrogate electric utilities for quality service, in addition to making the Department of Energy accountable to them,” he said, adding that quality electricity will be supplied to farmers.
Officials informed him that the DBT of Free Electricity Subsidy for Farm Connections implemented on a pilot basis in Srikakulam district has shown good results. A total of 101.51 MU of electricity was consumed by 26,083 connections in Srikakulam in 2020-21. The number of connections increased to 28,393 in 2021-22, but consumption was limited to 67.76 MU. Electricity reforms and the DBT scheme saved CU33.75, they explained.
Jagan said the YSR Jala Kala program should be implemented effectively. Under this scheme, the government has been digging boreholes free of charge for the farmers besides providing engines and electrification at the cost of Rs 2 lakh to deliver maximum benefits to each beneficiary farmer, a- he explained.
Minister of Energy Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma, APGENCO MD B Sridhar and NREDCAP MD NV Ramana Reddy attended the meeting.