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Load shedding is now history for Pune city

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Initiative to be extended to cover 11,000 villages

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd is now undertaking an Rs 700-crore initiative to separate its feeders to various sectors.
Power feeders will be separated for various sectors such as industry, domestic consumers and agriculture so that technical snags or faults do not affect all sectors.

Pune , June 5

Crippling power outages in the State might soon be a thing of the past with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) now undertaking a Rs 700-crore initiative to separate its feeders to various sectors with a view to providing uninterrupted power supply to consumers.

The initiative, which has already been implemented in over 150 villages in the State will be extended to cover 11,000 villages in the next eighteen months, the State Energy Minister, Mr Dilip Walse-Patil, said here on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) captive power generation project.

MSEDCL is following the direction taken by neighbouring Gujarat State which separated its feeders and has met with positive results according to Mr Walse-Patil who said that power feeders will soon be separated for various sectors such as industry, domestic consumers and agriculture so that technical snags or faults in the feeders would not affect all the sectors. Separation of feeders would also mean that the State would be in a position to control and monitor power supply to individual sectors, he said.

Pune, meanwhile, became the first city in the country to forge a public and private sector partnership to come out on top of a situation where load shedding had become a reality of life for its denizens. The project, initiated by the CII, will see more than three dozen captive power plants generating power to do away with the planned load shedding that has plagued industry and citizens at large over two years now.

The unique project will see the participating industrial units generating and consuming their own power during the peak hours, thus freeing the MSEDCL grid, which will supply the surplus to consumers, liberating them from the grips of planned load shedding. Industry majors such as Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Infosys and Cummins among others will, between them, produce under 100 MW of power under the new scheme.

"We have created a path-breaking model that can be so easily replicated in any city that has both a large number of generators and a community that is willing to participate to solve its own problems,'' Mr Pradeep Bhargava, CII Pune's former Chairperson and chief mentor of the project said.

" We decided to use the large community of idle generators and with the help of the authorities, resolve the crisis," he added.

The captive power plant project involved lots of out of the box thinking and negotiating between parties concerned and citizens at large.

For instance, since the MSEDCL was in no position to pay back the industrial units the operational costs of running its CPPs, it is raising the required Rs 170 crore plus by imposing a reliability charge of 42 paise per unit from subscribers consuming more than 300 units per month.

"Load shedding is now officially history for Pune city but the messages to be learnt from the project are that out of the box thinking always helps."

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