Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Oct 17:
The Odisha government will soon give its reply on the report of The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), which had opposed its demand for free power from thermal power plants and energy stations based on coal washery rejects.
A team from TERI had recently visited Odisha for a study on equitable sharing of benefits arising from coal mining and power generation among resource rich states. The study also sought to examine the impact of allowing free power at variable cost from coal based plants in the host state.
“We are deliberating on the report submitted by TERI and will get back to the Planning Commission with our response on the proposed policy initiative for equitable sharing of cost and benefit from coal thermal generation activities,” said an official of Energy department.
The Planning Commission had engaged TERI, a Delhi based organisation, to conduct a study on the issue after Odisha and some other coal bearing states pitched for free power from coal-based power plants coming up in their respective states.
It may be noted that Odisha had demanded 25 per cent free power from coal-based power plants and 33 per cent free power from power plants based on coal washery rejects.
The demand was also stiffly opposed by independent power producers (IPPs) who argued that the condition of supply of free power will make the power projects unviable.
“In TERI’s view, at present, the state’s demand for free power from thermal power stations has no statutory basis. In some states, free power or power at variable cost is one of the conditions in memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed with power developers. Thus, it is being introduced not as a statutory obligation or a fiscal measure, but can be a contractual provision between the parties involved,” said a recent report of TERI addressed to the Odisha government.