Major Players

Performance highlights of 2021-22

The Indian power sector saw significant ch­anges in the past one year, led by the po­w­er majors. Gencos added significant ca­pa­city in the past year, taking the country’s to­tal thermal additions to 4,485 MW in 2021-22, hydropower additions to 393 MW and renewable additions to 14,229 MW in 2021-22. The country’s largest power generator, NTPC Limi­ted added the maximum thermal capacity during this period.

On the transmission side, public sector major Power Grid Corporation of India Limi­t­ed (Powergrid) continued to be the leading player in terms of line length additions. It was followed by the state power transcos Trans­mis­sion Cor­poration of Telangana Limited, Tamil Nadu Transmission Corpo­ration Limited and Uttar Pradesh Po­w­er Transmission Co­m­pany Limited.

Meanwhile, discoms have been witne­sing poor financial and operational performance for a while now, which has been attributed to high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses and mounting discom debt. Under the new reforms-based, results-linked Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), which has an outlay of over Rs 3 trillion, several state-ow­n­ed discoms came on board.

Indian Infrastructure gives an overview of the top performers in terms of capacity addition in the sector during the past one year…

Generation

The thermal generation segment saw a total capacity addition of 4,485 MW in 2021-22 as against 4,926 MW in 2020-21, and a target of 10,285 MW. Of this, the central sector led by NTPC added 2,370 MW, while the state sector added 1,590 MW and the rest was contributed by the private sector (525 MW).

Thermal-based projects commissioned by NTPC were the Darlipalli thermal power plant (TPP) in Odisha (Unit 2, 800 MW) and the Barh TPP in Madhya Pradesh (Unit 1, 660 MW). With the commissioning of these projects, the installed capacity of NTPC is over 68,961 MW as of March 2022. NTPC also commission­ed two projects under its joint ventures, the Nabhi­nagar TPP in Bihar (Unit 4, 250 MW) by Bha­ra­tiya Rail Bijlee Company Limited  and the Nabhi­nagar TPP (Unit 3, 660 MW) by Nabhi­na­gar Power Generating Company Limited.

Of the state sector’s thermal capacity addition, the maximum capacity (1,320 MW) was added by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Ut­pa­dan Ni­gam Limited, which commissioned the 660 MW Unit 8 at the Suratgarh TPP and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited, which commissioned the 660 MW Unit 1 Harduaganj Exp II. The Telan­gana State Gene­ration Company followed next, with the commissioning of the 270 MW Unit 4 at the Bhadradri TPP.

In the private sector, capacity was added by SPIC Electric Power Corporation, which commissioned the 525 MW Unit I of the Tuticorin TPP in Tamil Nadu.

A total of 393 MW of hydro capacity was added in the country during 2021-22, which was entirely added by the private sector. Hima­chal Sorang Power Private Limited commissioned the 100 MW (Units I and II) Sorang hy­droelectric project (HEP) in Himachal Pradesh, while GMR Bajoli Holi Hydro Power Private Limi­ted commissioned 180 MW (Units I, II and III) of the Bajoli Holi HEP also located in Himachal Pradesh. Madhya Bharat Power Corpora­tion Limi­ted commissioned the 113 MW (Units I and II) Rongnichu HEP in Sikkim.

In the renewables segment, the ma­jor projects that were commissioned in re­cent months include Brookfield Renewable In­dia’s 450 MW solar plant in Jodhpur, Rajas­th­an; Tata Power Renewable’s 300 MW solar pla­nt in Dholera, Gujarat; O2 Power Private Limi­ted’s 250 MW solar plant in Jaisalmer, Rajas­than; Adani Hybrid Energy Jaisalmer One Limi­ted’s 390 MW wind-solar hybrid power plant in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan; ACME Solar Holding Limited’s 300 MW solar power project in Jodh­pur, Rajasthan; Azure Power’s 300 MW and 600 MW interstate trans­mi­ssion system (ISTS)-connected solar power project in Rajasthan; ReNew Power’s 250 MW ISTS solar power generation project in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, among others.

Transmission

Powergrid continued to be the top performer in terms of network addition. In 2021-22, it add­ed around 4,581 ckt. km of transmission line length out the total planned addition of over 14,895 ckt. km across all utilities. Powergrid co­m­missioned several lines during the year, of which the highest addition of 2,337 ckt. km was at the 765 kV level. Amongst the state tra­ns­cos, those of Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Ma­ha­­rashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat, Pu­njab and Odisha added more than 45 per cent of the total line length in the state sector.

In the private sector, Adani Power Limited added the maximum transmission line length of 897 ckt. km. Sterlite Grid Limited also contributed significantly to the private sector’s line length addition by completing 383 ckt. km of lines during the year.

Powergrid also led the way in substation capacity addition with 3,000 MVA capacity ad­ded at the 800 kV level, 18,500 MVA at the 765 kV level and 15,845 MVA at the 400 kV le­vel. Of the total 78,982 MVA added across all levels, the state and private sectors accounted for substation capacity addition of about 38,407 MVA and 1,000 MVA respectively.

Distribution

As per the audited annual accounts of distribution utilities, AT&C losses stood at 20.93 per cent in 2019-20, as against 23.5 per cent in 2016-17.

As per data collected by India Infra­structure Research, in 2020-21, AT&C losses of 49 surveyed discoms ranged between 6.48 per cent (Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited [TPDDL]) and 42.79 per cent (Jharkhand discom). Dis­coms that recorded the lowest AT&C losses of between 6 and 8 per cent were TPDDL, BRPL, BSES Yamuna Power Limited, Torrent Power (Gujarat), Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited, India Power, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited and Kerala State Electricity Board Limited.

Meanwhile, at an all-India Level, as per the power ministry, the average cost of supply (ACS)-average revenue realised (ARR) gap (on tariff subsidy received basis) reduced from Re 0.37 per unit in 2016-17 to Re 0.30 per unit in 2019-20. However, the fall was not consistent, as in the interim, the gap increased to Re 0.49 per unit in 2018-19.

As per utility-wise data collected for 2020-21, 12 discoms reported ACS-ARR gap as zero or negative (indicating surplus). These were An­dhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Com­pany Limited (Re -0.2 per unit), Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (Re 0 per unit), Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limi­ted (Re -0.1 per unit), Banga­lo­re Electricity Su­pply Company Limited (Re -0.12 per unit), Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (Re -0.03 per unit), Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (Re -0.02 per unit), Himachal Pradesh St­ate El­e­c­tricity Board Limited (Re -0.32 per unit), Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (Re -0.38 per unit), Mangalore Electricity Supply Co­m­pany Limited (Re -0.31 per unit), Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (Re -0.02 per unit), Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (Re -0.05 per unit) and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (Re -0.18 per unit).

Conclusion

Going forward, while capacity additions by power majors are expected to continue apace in the renewable energy segment, the conventional generation segment is expected to re­main subdued. Also, as discoms continue to record high AT&C losses and poor financial performance, all hopes have been pinned on discom privatisation and the newly launched RDSS to turn around the performance of the dis­tribution segment. On the transmission fro­nt, in the next four to five years, the segment looks pois­ed for significant investment inflow. In addition to expanding the physical grid, utilities will increasingly need to invest in advanced and grid-enhancing technologies to improve capacity, grid resilience and stability.

 

 

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