India,States may soon get hydro power purchase targets

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Hydroeletric stations help in maintaining power grid stability with flexibility to ramp up and down generation as they take less time to start and stop as compared to other sources of power production.

The power ministry is soon likely to notify guidelines giving states hydro power procurement targets on the lines of renewable energy purchase obligations, a senior official said. The move comes soon after Sunday’s nine-minute lights-off feat when the grid survived 32 GW demand drop for a few minutes backed by flexible generation from hydropower resources.

NEW DELHI: The Centre will soon make it mandatory for states to meet part of their electricity requirement from hydro power plants, a reward to these projects that saved the country’s grid collapse during the nine-minute lights switch off call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 5.

The power ministry is soon likely to notify guidelines giving states hydro power procurement targets on the lines of renewable energy purchase obligations, a senior official said. The move comes soon after Sunday’s nine-minute lights-off feat when the grid survived 32 GW demand drop for a few minutes backed by flexible generation from hydropower resources.

“We will be notifying the quantum of obligation for hydropower till 2030 on discoms. This will be given only to projects commissioned after March 9, 2019 and those plants which did not have power purchase agreement s(PPA) on that date. The purpose is to promote new projects and addition of new capacity,” the official said. Power regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is likely to issue directions on trading of hydroelectric certificates like renewable certificates that will enable discoms with more hydro generation to trade with discoms which do not have access to such plants.

The notification is pending since March last year when the Union cabinet approved measures to promote hydropower, which included declaring all such plants as renewable generation, tariff rationalisation measures and budgetary support for flood moderation and enabling infrastructure.

The trajectory for hydro power obligation will be notified for discoms up to 2030, against 2-3 years in case of renewable energy projects, the official said. “Hydro projects have long gestation period and this move aims at giving developers motivation for new projects,” he said.

Hydroeletric stations help in maintaining power grid stability with flexibility to ramp up and down generation as they take less time to start and stop as compared to other sources of power production. Hydropower stations are being considered as compliment to India’s largescale renewable energy addition programme.

The official said policy makers have appreciated and acknowledged importance of hydropower after Sunday’s event.

Source : The Economic Times