Of the states without a significant production capacity, Delhi is the only one that sold electricity in October, shows the latest data on power trading at the country’s two power exchanges.
On October 20, the state sold 635 Mw on the day-ahead market. The other large sellers like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha have large thermal power capacities.
Early this month the Union power ministry issued a release warning states to ensure there was enough electricity before selling any “surplus” on the power exchanges.
The data from the National Load Despatch Centre for the past week shows the chronically deficit Northern Region has managed to keep its daily peak shortage at less than 1 Gw. It came down to 280 Mw mid-week. This is an achievement in the middle of the festival season and high weather fluctuations, say government officials.
Responding to the charge from some state governments like Delhi that a massive power blackout was imminent and the Centre was unable to prevent it, the ministry had noted: “It has been brought to the notice of (the) Ministry of Power that some States are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load shedding. At the same time, they are also selling power in the power exchange at high price.” The peak shortage in the Northern Grid was nearly 5 Gw on October 12, when the release was issued.
The ministry was peeved that some states complaining of electricity shortages were appearing on the sell side of the market to profit from the shortage.
The trade data for the latest full month (August 2021) released by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission showed Delhi was the largest seller in the day-ahead market for power on the exchanges after Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. In the all India league Delhi stood at seventh position among the sellers for the month despite having one of the smallest generation capacities among all states — less than 2 Gw.
In October among the top 10 sellers at the IEX were West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Telangana, Kerala, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh. The other two were Teesta-3 and Essar Power. On the buy-side were the Western and Southern states, which depend on imported coal-fired thermal power plants. The future price of Indonesian coal, which accounts for 60 per cent of India’s import, is running at $144 for delivery in November.
The data for October 20 shows the maximum price in the day-ahead market had shot up to Rs 20 per kilowatt/hour. The average price is an attractive Rs 5.32.
Prices are expected to cool because the coal ministry is able to ensure larger offtake from the sidings of Coal India and Singareni Collieries.