The Ministry of Power (MoP) has devised a multi-pronged strategy to ensure adequate availability of power during the upcoming summer months.
As part of the strategy, the power utilities have been directed to undertake maintenance for coal-based power plants well in advance to avoid planned maintenance during the crunch period i.e. April 2023 and May 2023. Directions have also been issued under section-11 to all imported coal-based plants to run at full capacity from March 16, 2023 onwards. Adequate coal stocks will be made available at the coal-based power plants. Further, Railway Board assured availability of enough rakes for transport of coal. MOP has directed NTPC to run its 5,000 MW gas-based power stations during the crunch period. Additionally, 4,000 MW of gas-based power capacity would be added by other entities during the summer months. GAIL Limited has assured the MoP of the necessary supply of gas during the said months. The hydro fleet has been instructed to operate in consultation with regional/state load dispatch centers to optimise water utilisation. An additional capacity of 2,920 MW would be available through new coal-based plants which will be commissioned by the end of March 2023. Two units at Barauni (2×110 MW) will also be made available during crunch period. As per estimates of the Central Electricity Authority, the peak electricity demand is expected to be 229 GW during the month of April 2023. The power demand has been growing at nearly 10 per cent per annum. Meanwhile, the energy demand is expected to be 142,097 MUs during April 2023.