Govt has plan in place to provide cheaper power
Chandigarh: Under fire for the hike in power tariff, the state government has come up with a roadmap for providing cheaper electricity. Punjab will sell its surplus power, buying cheaper electricity from other generators, besides producing more electricity through hydro, solar and wind power at low rates by setting these power projects outside Punjab.
The Power Department has made this plan to reduce the total cost of power production so that in the coming years only three per cent yearly hike in power tariff is required. With decision being taken to shut down the now obsolete power generation plants in Punjab, as a short term measure, till Punjab sets up its own ultra critical power generation plant at Ropar, it has decided to partner with the Solar Energy Corporation of India to produce 250 MW through wind power (at Rs 2.60 per unit) outside Punjab; and getting 200 MW through hydro power from the Kancham Wangtoo project in Himachal Pradesh (at Rs 3.50 per unit). Comparatively, Punjab’s own cost of power production in 2016-17 was Rs 3.97 per unit and in the first six months of 2017-18 this has been reduced to Rs 3.84 per unit.
Till the last fiscal, Punjab power utilities were incurring a loss of 70 paisa on each unit of power produced. In the first six months of this fiscal (April to September), by buying cheaper power (463 million units of power have been bought in the first six months), the loss on each unit of power has been reduced to 50 paisa — as revealed in the half-yearly financial results of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. The reason for the loss to be reduced is not just the increase in power tariff, but also because the cost of buying power from other generators is reduced by 14 paisa per unit.