Power crunch in the South, spot price increases 59%

Integration with the rest of the nation for power transmission has not helped the southern states much. Since temperatures started soaring across the country, there has been a massive power transmission constraint in the grid.

During the first week of April, southern states could get only 10 million units against the demand for 50 million units. Despite decent power supply and utilities ready to buy at a higher price, the grid was not firm enough to handle the increased demand, said executives monitoring power demand and supply.

“The average price of power for the South grid also soared to ₹ 11 a unit and the highest buy bid was ₹ 20 a unit on March 27 in the spot market,” said an executive of a power trading platform.

While rains cooled demand for the northern region during the later part of March, buy bids in the South continued to be 22 per cent higher than supply, leading to prices rising 41 per cent in the month.

Synchronisation of the national grid as ‘ one nation, one grid, one frequency’ by central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation has not started getting much success so far. “While demand keeps going up in the South and East India, there is not enough grid capacity to support it. Also, the south grid is now exposed to the fluctuations of the rest of the nation as well,” said an executive of a power supply utility in south India.

According to the monthly report of Indian Energy Exchange, the country’s largest power trading platform, interregional transmission network congestion was persistent through the year, resulting in a loss of 3.1 billion units in trading volume during FY15.

The congestion also hurt other parts of the country. “Unavailability of the transmission corridor continues to be a deterrent this month as well — about 400 million units could not be traded due to inter- state transmission network congestion. Import of electricity to the South and transfer of electricity between the southern states was also affected due to congestion,” said the report.

The situation is expected to improve with three major transmission lines supplying the South getting operational during the second half of the year. The three lines are Gwalior- Jaipur by August 2015, Narendra- Kolhapur by September 2015 and ChampaKurukshetra terminal capacity of 3,000 Mw by January 2016. The available transfer capacity is expected to rise from the current 4.2 Gw to 6.2 Gw.

As summer approaches, power transmission snags on the rise SUMMER PINCH

|The West- South corridor was congested in March |The East- South corridor was congested 99 per cent of the time in March |Day’s average spot price in South was ₹ 11 a unit on March 27; the month’s average was ₹ 6.9 a unit |400 million units left untraded due to transmission congestion

Source: Business Standard; 07 April 2015

URL: http://epaper.business-standard.com/bsepaper/svww_zoomart.php?Artname=20150407aE004101006&ileft=123&itop=594&zoomRatio=132&AN=20150407aE004101006

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