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“Private sector involvement in power generation inevitable”

Special Correspondent

Will bring investment of Rs. 91,000 crore in next 3-5 years: Stalin



GROWING DEMAND:(From left) Justice M. Karpagavinayagam, Chairperson, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, New Delhi, Altamas Kabir, Supreme Court Judge, M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister, and Arcot N.Veeraswami, Electricity Minister, at a conference in Chennai on Sunday.

CHENNAI: Private sector initiatives in power generation in the State will bring an investment to the extent of Rs. 91,000 crore in the next 3-5 years, M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister, said here on Sunday.

Noting that the involvement of private developers in power sector was inevitable in the wake of rapidly growing demand, Mr. Stalin said they were setting up plants with a capacity of 18,140 MW.

Addressing an all India conference of Chairmen of Central and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions, Mr. Stalin said that “limited coal resources” coupled with the objective of “promoting clean energy” had mandated a major shift from coal fuel to renewable energy.

“The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has also imposed the Renewable Energy Purchase Obligations and a conducive tariff policy,” he further said.

The State had already evolved a very conducive public-private partnership for promoting “green energy” and created a huge capacity of 4500 MW of wind energy, he said.

The additional potential had been assessed at 5530 MW of wind power and 800 MW of bagasse–based co-generation plants. Besides, the State would add an additional 183 MW of bagasse-based power with an investment of Rs. 1126 crore.

Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami said the number of cases filed before the TNERC had increased from 21 in 2006 to 89 in 2010. It had so far disposed of 583 cases, and 33 cases were pending as on date.

“The vast majority of the orders of the TNERC have been upheld by the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity,” he added.

Supreme Court Judge Altamas Kabir said besides bringing in the concept of competition and power trading, the Electricity Act 2003 ensured that many States were able to access the national grid.

He, however, pointed out many States were blocking access to the National Power Grid.

Appellate Tribunal for Electricity Chairperson Justice M. Karpagavinyagam said there was a need to create awareness about saving electricity.

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission Chairman Pramod Rao and TNERC chairman S. Kabilan were among those who participated.

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