Karnataka to Procure 1.5 GW of Power on Short-term Basis to Meet Shortage

The state is also procuring 800 MW from private generators to tide over crisis


Reeling under an acute power shortage of up to 2,000 MW a day, Karnataka has been monitoring power demand and availability on an hourly basis and preparing to buy power in the market on the projections of the Karnataka State Load Despatch Center (KSLDC).

The government has also decided to procure 1,300 to 1,500 MW of power on a short-term basis with the approval of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission and bids will be issued soon, according to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Power swapping arrangements of 300 MW and 600 MW are also being finalized with Uttar Pradesh and Punjab respectively until May 2024. Karnataka will return the power to the two states from June next year.

In a bid to procure 800 MW of power from open access generators of thermal, renewable and co-generation sources, Karnataka has already invoked the emergency provisions under Section 11 of the Electricity Act. Under the Act, the government can compel generating stations, including private ones, to act according to the government’s directions. The regulatory commission can offset the adverse financial impact of such directions on any generating company in a manner it considers appropriate.

On August 25, peak demand in Karnataka had shot up to 16, 950 MW as against 11,268 in August last year, the sharpest rise among all states.

As of October 16, the total power being generated in Karnataka at 1400 hours was 13,878 MW.

Following poor rainfall in many parts of India, several states have been facing a power shortage. August this year was the driest in over a century. All-India peak power demand hit a new high of 245 GW on September 1.

Power demand in the country has been going up consistently over the last few years. In September, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) forecast an all-India peak power demand of 256.53 GW in financial year (FY) 2024-25, rising sharply from FY 2023-24. Power demand will soar above 256 GW in September 2024, according to the CEA’s prediction.

According to the Karnataka government, there has been an increase in power demand in the state by about 40-50% as compared to last year. The peak daytime demand had gone up from 11,000 MW to 16,000 MW and consumption from 180 million units (MU) a day to 260 MU.

On October 15, a total of 246.33 MU of power was consumed in the state. The peak load at 1100 hours was 13,458 MW and the minimum 7,930 MW at 2300 hours.

The night-time demand of 10,000 MW was also not being met because of poor wind and hydropower generation. Water levels in major reservoirs has

New Initiatives

As part of medium and long-term initiatives, the Karnataka government will take up projects with a total capacity of 1,300 MW and 1,200 MW in the first and second phases of the PM-KUSUM program for the solarisation of irrigation pumps.

The planned 2,000 MW Sharavathi pumped hydropower project will be taken up in December after securing clearances from the Central Electricity Authority and other regulatory bodies.

The government also acknowledged that its program to provide free power up to 200 units a month to consumers had contributed to the demand going up.