The Indian capital’s obsession for electricity is finally resulting in some action.Delhi, which generates only 995MW electricity of the daily peak demand of 3,500MW, plans to set up a gas-based 700MW unit at a cost of Rs2,300 crore, according to a Delhi government official, who did not wish to be identified.
The project, capable of boosting the city’s power generation capacity by 70%, is still in the initial stages, said the official. The project is to come up in Delhi’s south-western suburb of Dwarka.
“A site has been identified near Bamnauli in Dwarka,” said the official. “We are awaiting the award of all the necessary clearances, including environmental clearance for setting up the project. The land for the project is also yet to be acquired, ” he added.
The official added that the Delhi government had decided to locate the project in Dwarka because the level of nitrous oxide in the suburb were lower than that in other areas in the city. Nitrous oxide is a by-product in gas-based power plants, and a build-up of the compound in the atmosphere leads to acid rain.
Apart from the 995MW generated by two power plants owned by the state government (Indraprastha Power Generation Co. and Pragati Power Corp.), Delhi also sources the entire power generated by NTPC’s 630MW Badarpur plant (in Haryana). The new project will help Delhi meet part of its future demand, which is expected to reach 6,000MW by 2010.
Kuljit Singh, partner at accounting firm Ernst & Young, said that by increasing its own generating capacity, Delhi could isolate itself from the grid in case of a failure elsewhere. The government has been looking at ways to boost its power generation capacity. Although it has been willing to purchase power at higher rates from other states, there are times when there is simply no power to be had.