Study Delhi Discoms’ plea to stop Dadri supply: Power Ministry to DERC

Study Delhi Discoms’ plea to stop Dadri supply: Power Ministry to DERC

New Delhi: The Union power ministry has said that it is not convinced that Delhi’s electricity distributors have tied up sufficient capacity for uninterrupted supply before surrendering 756-Mw from NTPC’s Dadri-I unit and that the utilities are buying expensive power from certain gas-based stations and power exchanges.

In a letter to Delhi’s electricity regulator, the ministry has asked the regulator to re-examine the discoms’ deallocation request and ensure that the loss caused to the public on account of purchase of expensive power is recovered from the concerned distribution companies, according to an official.

BSES Delhi distribution companies are entitled to most of the power from Dadri-I.

Sources said the BSES discoms have requested the regulator to convene an urgent meeting of all stakeholders on the issue.

BSES and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd were not available for comment.

“Ministry of Power is not satisfied on this as of now. This is also reflected from the fact that the problems of power are being reported by the distribution companies of Delhi,” the ministry said in a letter to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

The power ministry said any de-allocation from Dadri-I can be considered only if it is satisfied that after exiting Dadri-I, the distribution companies have tied up sufficient power to meet requirements of the area that they serve.

“They are not scheduling power from Dadri-I thermal power station of NTPC and are purchasing costly power from some of the gas-based stations and also from the power exchanges. This reflects that the distribution companies of Delhi are falling short of the resource adequacy which is required to maintain the reliability of supply for all the consumers of Delhi,” the ministry added.

The power ministry said a state commission is required to assess resource adequacy of the concerned distribution licensee.

“After receiving the DERC’s decision on the issue of resource adequacy required for maintaining reliability of power supply in the national capital, Ministry of Power will examine the matter in totality and decide about de-allocation,” it said.

The power ministry’s intervention comes even as the matter is before the courts.

On September 23, NTPC approached the Delhi High Court against an order of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in July that had allowed BSES Delhi discoms to exit power purchase agreements with NTPC’s Dadri-I. The matter will be heard next on October 29.

NTPC also filed a civil appeal in the Supreme Court against an order of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity staying the recovery of capacity charges for Dadri-I station.

The Delhi discoms had said earlier they have been making efforts to optimise their power purchase costs, including exit from seven power stations supplying expensive power. Of these, six stations, including Dadri-I, have completed 25 years of useful life.

In July, BSES announced the signing of contracts with Solar Energy Corp of India to procure 510 Mw solar power at Rs 2.44 per unit and bundled hybrid power at Rs 2.48 per unit.

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