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January 7, 2017

‘Coal Mitra’ Web Portal to facilitate Flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched ‘Coal Mitra’, a Web portal for flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal and released reports on ‘Renewable Energy Integration: Transmission an Enabler’, ‘Green Energy Corridor II’ and ‘Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis’, here today. He was presiding over an event, ‘Empowering the Grid to meet Future Challenges’, organized by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL), under the auspices of Ministry of Power.

The Coal Mitra Web Portal has been designed to bring about flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal by transferring the reserves to more cost efficient State/Centre owned or Private sector generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers.

The web portal would be used by the State/Central Gencos to display information about normative fixed and variable charges of electricity for the previous month as well as margin available for additional generation so as to enable the utilities identify stations for transfer of coal. It would host data on Operational and Financial parameters of each coal based station; Quantity and source of supply coal to the power plant; and Distance of Power plant form the Coal mine.

The Cabinet, on 4th May 2016, approved the proposal for allowing flexibility in utilization of domestic coal amongst power generating stations. Further, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued the methodology for this on 8th June 2016, followed by the issuance of a memorandum by the Ministry of Power on 10th June 2016. The methodology for use of transferred coal in Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generating stations would be issued separately.

During the event, Shri Goyal would be releasing 3 reports viz., ‘Renewable Energy Integration: Transmission, an Enabler’‘Green Energy Corridors – II’ and ‘Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis’. The first two reports, prepared by PGCIL, cover aspects of comprehensive transmission plan to integrate renewable energy sources into the National Grid and role of Transmission as an Enabler in growing Renewable Energy (RE) penetration scenario. The last report has been prepared by Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO).

The ‘Renewable Energy Integration: Transmission, an Enabler’ report covers the study of balancing and stability issues for 15% & 30% RE capacity penetration and the aspects of Balancing Reserve Analysis with Thermal Power Plants, both gas and supercritical coal, Reservoir type Hydro & Pumped Storage Plants and the Way forward.

The ‘Green Energy Corridors-II’ (Part-A) report details about the identified capacity of Solar Parks and transmission infrastructure requirement in various states at Intra-State and Inter-state level. It inter-alia covers the financing options available for rationalization of transmission tariff and the challenges to be addressed to facilitate smooth integration of solar power parks.

The ‘Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis’ report covers the analysis of data archived by POSOCO since 2008 with insights towards diurnal, seasonal and yearly demand patterns, decomposition of demand data into seasonal trends at all levels – National, regional and individual State level. The Demand Pattern Analysis may be used by Central and state level planning agencies for Generation, transmission and distribution planning, Identification of areas/sectors with maximum growth and Behavioral pattern of the population residing in that state/ region. It can also be used as valuable input for research by the academia and the industry.

Making a new announcement at the event, Shri Goyal said that the Power Ministry has approved that henceforth Government and PSUs would be able to swap coal with private companies. Further, he said, “I would like to see the Coal sector open up and achieve the next level of Efficiency in power generation. For this the Ministry is working tirelessly and guidelines for coal swapping would be out in next 30 days.” He envisioned this coal swapping initiative to be cross sectoral and not confined to the power to power sector swaps.

Congratulating PGCIL on achieving 1 lakh crore market capitalization, Shri Goyal said that it is no mean feat to achieve, especially looking at the current state of the global economy. He asked the Maharatna company to develop a robust mechanism to unlock its capital and expand the portfolio rapidly to achieve the target to integrate 175GW Renewable Energy in the National Grid and reach out to 5 crore families still without power. Shri Goyal exhorted PGCIL to grow from an Asset Holding Company to a Project Management and Implementing company. The Minister also commended PGCIL’s exemplary work done in Varanasi to untangle overhead transmission lines by laying down underground cables, a step that needs to be replicated across the nation, he said.

Expressing conviction in India’s global leadership in technical and human skills, the Minister said that in the next 15 years India would quadruple its energy capacity. Shri Goyal also directed the Ministry officials to chalk out a plan to guarantee 24×7 Power to all Telecom towers in the country. “Not a drop of diesel would be used in any telecom tower in the country. Find a way how to achieve this”, he said.

Going a step further, the Minister gave everyone a food for thought when he envisioned the mapping of essential utilities/services like education, health, water supply, power sector infrastructure etc. into mobile apps and then draw up a plan to ensure uninterrupted power supply to all of them. He said that building such a cohesive platform would automatically ensure 24×7 Power for All in the times to come.

Other dignitaries present at the event were Shri P.K. Pujari, Secretary Power, Shri S.D. Dubey, Chairman, CEA, Shri I.S. Jha, CMD, PGCIL, along with senior officials of the Power Ministry, Heads of State Utilities and officials from International Financing Agencies.

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