India’s coal-based power plants to run at average 56.5 per cent PLF next fiscal: Minister

Coal-based power plants in India are likely to run at an average 56.5 per cent Plant Load Factor (PLF), an indicator of efficiency, in financial year 2021-22, power minister R K Singh has said.

He was responding to a question asked in Parliament on whether only 48 per cent of the capacity of thermal power plants in the country is expected to be tapped by 2022.

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“As per the extant National Electricity Plan, the installed capacity of thermal power plants of the country is likely to be 243,037 megawatt (MW) in 2021-22 out of a total projected installed capacity of 479,419 MW. The PLF of coal based capacity in 2021-22 is likely to be 56.5 per cent,” he said.

He also said power generators supplying under power purchase agreements will not suffer financial loss due to under-utilization of their capacity as they are entitled to full recovery of fixed charges from the beneficiaries subject to achieving the normative availability.

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PLF of thermal power stations depends on total electricity demand in the country which is affected by climate and weather conditions, growth of electricity demand in various sectors and generation from various other sources like hydro, nuclear and gas.

Singh also said the government is exploring the possibility of use of cost-effective energy storage system — pumped storage hydro plant, battery storage etc– so that the generation during off-peak period can be stored for use during peak period. This would lead to better utilisation of thermal plants’ capacity.

ET Energy World
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