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How to handle emerging power surplus situation in Punjab
Punjab is definitely going to be a power surplus state throughout the year after the three upcoming thermal plants at Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib starts full generation of power from August next year. Punjab may be power surplus in next financial year but handling of power surplus scenario in Punjab will decide the financial survival of PSPCL. The power surplus state may not be able to supply cheap power to power consumers of the state.

PSPCL has to bear the brunt of fixed charges whenever there will be stranded capacity within /outside state whenever the power demand in state take a dip due to any reason. PSPCL will have to back down its own thermal units to consume the power generated by thermal stations of private sector on priority.

As PSPCL enters a power plus scenario the fixed component of power purchase from private companies and power generated from its own units is going to increase its expenditure whenever there is stranded capacity. As per PSPCL tariff petition for 2014-15 the fixed per unit charges are 122 paise,135 paise and 164 paise for Rajpura thermal, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib thermal stations.

PSPCL will have to surrender around 15000 million units of power annually in case PSPCL fails to find power purchasers’. Punjab has already floated tenders for selling 10000 million units power annually which is about 1500 MW round the year. In case of surrender of power fixed charges of more than Rs. 1500 crore will have to borne by Punjab consumers which will make power costlier by more than 75 paise per unit.

PSPCL in its tariff petition for 2014-15 has estimated that the power purchase from all sources will be 22927MU. Out of this the power purchase by PSPCL from three upcoming thermal stations in Punjab will be 5456MU. The breakup given in petition is Talwandi Sabo (1862MU), Rajpura thermal (2661MU) and Goindwal Sahib (934MU). The total estimated generated power from these three thermal stations is expected to be 13444 MU.

This comprises of Rajpura thermal (5007MU), Talwandi Sabo (7300MU) and from Goindwal Sahib (1137MU). The total surplus power from these plants will be around 8000MU in next financial year which PSPCL has to sell it in market at reasonable price. The per unit cost from Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal has been assessed as 373 paise per unit and it is 348 paise per unit for Rajpura thermal station.

The proposal of Punjab Government to sell surplus power to Pakistan will need the full support of Government of India . International trade of power is already taking place with Nepal and Bangladesh. Since the power system of Pakistan is operating at a different frequency, for transfer of power a HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) system will have to be installed by Power Grid. The 400 kV sub-station of Power Grid at Amritsar can be used for locating HVDC equipment. 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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