Spot power trading for Tuesday at the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) touched 268 million units, making it the highest daily volume of electricity traded in the day-ahead market till date. The volume is 113% higher than what was traded for the same day last year. Average spot power price at the exchange was `4.93 per unit, a 34% rise year-on-year.
According to sources, the top states that purchased the highest volume of electricity were Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar and Telangana. The biggest sellers were Punjab, Delhi and Rajasthan. Experts said that the sudden fall in temperature in north India due to rains led to states in this area offering surplus power for sale in the exchange.
Electricity demand in Maharashtra has mainly been rising on account of higher agricultural consumption amid dry spell. The state’s power demand touched an all-time high of 22,399 MW on September 21. A Maharashtra electricity distribution company official told FE that it had procured 3,200 MW from IEX on September 15. The state is the highest power-consuming state in the country and recent demand levels are as much as 30% higher, annually.
As on September 15, more than 3,800 MW of power plants in Maharashtra have gone into unplanned maintenance this month itself, and 1,330 MW among these have cited fuel shortage for their outages.
Research agency India Ratings said in a recent report that apart from falling wind and hydro generation due to seasonal factors, partial generation availability of about 40 GW of stressed thermal power assets in the middle of resolution process have also contributed to the recent surge in spot power prices. “Non-availability of working capital limits for the stressed thermal power assets is leading to muted generation,” it noted. The firm had cautioned that competition in the short-term market is likely to intensify if there are delays in coal supply issues and if PPAs remain elusive, which could lead to unviable tariff realisation.