Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Draft policy to improve power sector gets Cabinet nod


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Feb 26: The state Cabinet on Monday gave its nod to the Meghalaya Draft Power Policy 2024, paving the way for investment in the state’s flagging power sector and development of pumped storage projects, in addition to focusing on solar and wind energy generation.
Power Minister Abu Taher Mondal said that the new policy will replace the Power Policy adopted in 2010 and one of the key components will be the introduction of pumped storage power projects for hilly terrains.
Pumped-storage projects operate by storing water behind dams during periods of low energy prices and releasing it during peak demand, thereby capitalising on price differentials.
In addition to the pumped storage component, the policy proposes the establishment of a State Power Trading Company. This entity is tasked with executing power purchase agreements, facilitating short-term purchases on behalf of the State Distribution Utility (MePDCL), and managing power sourced from renewable sources.
Furthermore, the policy underscores the importance of sustainable generation practices, advocating for the development of power projects leveraging hydro, thermal, pumped storage, solar, and wind energy in an environmentally sustainable manner. It also prioritises enhancing the operational efficiency of existing power plants and the overall generation utility.
The functions of the proposed Power Trading Company are designed to streamline processes and bolster the management of the state’s power portfolio. These functions encompass executing power purchase agreements with various entities, undertaking short-term power transactions, managing agreements with new renewable power plants, and facilitating tenders and contracts for power purchase from both state and central sectors, including independent power producers, all this with an aim to take back Meghalaya to being a power surplus state, in the next five years.


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