The Telangana government is placing its bets on the sun to help it tide over the energy crisis. With the state enjoying nearly 300 days of sunshine each year, the Telangana southern and northern power distribution companies have decided to go ahead with a proposal to set up a 500 MW capacity solar power plant in Adilabad district.
“The TSSPDCL has called for Request for Selection to set up solar power units through competitive bidding. The bids would be finalized by the end of September and the solar power units will become operational within 10 months,” TSSPDCL director (projects) T Srinivas told TOI.
The selected bidder would set up the solar power generation units by getting all clearances and permissions from local bodies and the Centre. Energy measurement, billing and accounting of energy distributed would be done by the power distribution companies. The developers would set up the units on build-own-operate basis and supply power through inter connectivity to the substations for a period of 25 years. This is the first time that the state is moving ahead with a concrete plan to add solar power to the energy generation mix in the state.
All the 10 districts of Telangana have been reeling under power shortages, especially during the past few months. Even during the monsoon, the power distribution companies (discoms) have been imposing three to six hour power cuts both in urban and rural areas. With the demand from the agriculture sector not being met adequately, farmers have been attacking electricity sub-stations in various parts of the state for failing to provide uninterrupted power supply.
“The five districts- Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar- under TSSPDCL need 4,000 MW per day while the current allocation is only 3,500 to 3,600 MW,” a chief general manager of TSSPDCL said.
Since the state is unable to meet the energy demand through existing thermal and hydel power stations, and a very poor monsoon is complicating the energy requirement scenario, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had previously asked the discoms to explore utilization of solar power and other sources. The solar power units would have inter-connectivity through 33 kv, 132 kv and 220 kv sub-stations.
More thermal power expected
Meanwhile, officials are hopeful of adding another 1,200 MW of thermal power in the state by next year with the Singareni Collieries Company Limited expected to set up two thermal power stations of 600 MW capacity each in Jaipur mandal in Adilabad district. Official sources said though the plants are expected to be ready only in November 2015, the chief minister reportedly directed the SCCL officials to speed up the works and begin generation in the first quarter of 2015.