GUWAHATI, July 21 - In a bid to bail it out from the nagging problem of shortfall in power supply, the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) has signed agreements to purchase 100 MW of solar power and 120 MW of wind power. It has also signed an agreement to purchase 108 MW of hydroelectric power from the neighbouring country, Bhutan.
Sources in the APDCL told this correspondent that since the last financial year, the state sector power company has been pursuing a no load-shedding policy. These days, disruption in power supply occurs only due to some localised problems. Shortfall in power supply has been done away with through the regular power purchases made from the open power market on a day ahead basis.
The power company signed this month power purchase agreements (PPAs) with two private sector power developers for purchase of 100 MW of solar power from the solar power plants being set up in four regions of the State. The plants will be commissioned after 18 months and the agreements would be in force for a period of 25 years.
APDCL sources further informed that the power company has also signed agreements with parties from outside the State for purchase of 120 MW of wind power in three phases. These agreements would also be in force for a period of 25 years with the first phase expected to commence in October this year, while the second phase is expected to commence in May, 2019. However, the schedule of the commencement of the third phase has not yet been determined.
The prices of per unit of solar power will be varying between Rs 3.17 and Rs 3.70. The supply of solar power should start not later than December, 2019.
The price for the first phase wind power is determined to be Rs 2.53 per unit, while that of the second and the third phase wind power is determined to be Rs 2.49 per unit.
The supply of Bhutanese hydel power is expected to start in July, 2019 and per unit of the hydel power being purchased from the neighbouring country will cost the APDCL Rs 3.54 as levelised tariff.
NEEPCO�s Kameng Hydroelectric Power Plant is expected to supply to the APDCL 60 MW of power at the rate of around Rs 5 per unit. NEEPCO�s Pare Hydroelectric Power Plant has been supplying 30 MW of power to the APDCL since May this year at a price of Rs 4.50 per unit.
The private parties which have entered into agreements with the APDCL to supply solar power, will set up solar power plants in four regions of the State. While the first region includes the six districts of Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri and Darrang, the second region includes the five districts of Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari and Kamrup, the third region includes the seven districts of Sonitpur, Nagaon, Morigaon, Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji and the fourth region includes the three districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj, sources said.
It needs mention here that the peak load hour power demand of the State at present has been worked out to be 1,850 MW. As per the Central Electricity Authority�s (CEA�s) Electric Power Survey Forecast, the peak load hour power demand of the State for 2017-18 fiscal was 1,946 MW and for 2018-19, it was 2,222 MW.
In fact, the State is facing a shortfall of around 455 MW compared to what was forecast by the CEA for the current year. As, in practice, the APDCL could supply only 1,767 MW of power against the demand of 1,850 MW it has worked out, as has been revealed by the figures available with this newspaper.