Thursday, March 30

Bengal plans power boost

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Bengal power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said on Friday that the government planned to augment the state’s electricity generation by 2,000MW, including 1,300MW from renewable sources, over the next five years, state.

Bengal – with around 9,000MW in generation capacity, besides another 1,000MW from central allocation – plans to increase the capacity by 1,000MW from hydro projects and 300MW from solar schemes.

“When we came to the power (in 2011), the solar capacity was 1MW. It already stands at 200MW. In the next five years, we will increase it by at least another 300MW,” Chattopadhyay said on the sidelines of the 9th Energy Conclave organised by the CII.

He said 20-odd solar projects with 10MW capacity each would be come up over the next three years. “Overall, we are looking at capacity augmentation of at least 2,000MW in five years,” he added.

Chattopadhyay said the government had been focusing on better technology to reduce losses at the transmission and distribution stages, while investing in the improvement of the quality of supplied power.

“Bengal is power-surplus, as the demand does not cross the daily threshold of 8,500MW, at the moment.”

The minister also said the number of industrial consumers in Bengal had gone up by over 21,400 from the 78,074 in 2011, while the number of domestic consumers increased from 86 lakh that year to 1.2 crore,

At the CII event, Damodar Valley Corporation chairman P.K. Mukhopadhyay said the utility had decided to set up India’s largest pump-storage project of 1,500MW at an investment of Rs 5,200 crore.

“We are preparing to build six units of 250MW each at Lagu Pahar on the Bokaro river,” he said.

At the event, Power Grid Corporation of Bangladesh chairman Mohammed Abul Kalam Azad said his country, currently importing around 700MW from India, was looking to import 10,000MW by 2041.

Source: The Telegraph

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