NTPCs move to light up Games will trigger loadshedding in rest of India

Written by Indronil Roychowdhury | Kolkata | Updated: Sep 18 2010, 06:27am hrs
Come October 3 and the country is likely to plunge into darkness as NTPC diverts the states share of power to New Delhi for the CommonWealth Games (CWG). Delhi will require 5,000 mw for the Games. Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), Indira Gandhi Super Thermal Power Project, Pragati Power Corporation and NTPCs Dadri Thermal Power Station were to meet the requirement, however, except NTPCs Dadri unit (2x490mw), none of the project have come up to power the Games.

While only a 490-mw unit of NTPCs newly commissioned Dadri unit was supposed to supply power for the Games, the entire 980 mw generated will have to be diverted to Delhi during the CWG, said an NTPC official. According to the formula agreed upon, Uttar Pradesh was to get 5% of the 980 mw generated and 50% would have been distributed across the country. Delhi was to get 45% of Dadris generation. Even after drawing the entire generation of Dadri project CWG would fall short of 4,020 mw, to be managed from the states share of NTPC generation. This would violate the Gadgil power sharing formula, overdrawing from the grid, also virtually breaking grid discipline.

According to a Power Grid Corporation official, there are already instructions that the uniformity of frequency for supplying the common pool power to the north, east, west and north east India has to be broken during the CWG and power to north should flow at a higher frequency. In fact the eastern, western, northern and north eastern power zones power evacuation is done through a synchronised grid maintaining a uniform frequency level. So while power would flow at higher frequency to the northern part of the country, the grid connecting National Capital Region would overdraw from the northern grid to power the games. Hence, heavy load shedding is expected across the country, especially in the east, north, north east and west India during the Games.

However, the Central Electricity Authority is more eager to look at western India for drawing maximum power since it has the highest installed capacity of 51,454 mw of the countrys total 1,64,509 mw.

Being a clear case of breaking grid discipline in powering the CWG, it would be most interesting to watch the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission act to punish the Delhi government, which in turn would try to shift the blame on to the Centre, said the Power Grid Corporation official.

In fact, DVC was supposed to add 2,500 mw, Pragati Power Corporation 1,500 mw and NTPCs Dadri 980 mw (but only 480mw meant for CWG) and Indira Gandhi Super Thermal Power Project 500mw to power the Games. And if this would have come to grid nothing had to be misappropriated for powering the games, a Power Grid Corporation official said.