With the conventional energy projects unable to address the power crisis, 2012 saw the emergence of renewable energy in a big way. The state government announced a new solar policy with a target to set up 3,000 Mw of solar power in three years.

Severe power shortage made chief minister J Jayalalithaa write several letters to the Prime Minister seeking Centre's support to address the issue and also for speedy clearance of projects.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the country’s biggest power generation utility, is expected to offer consultancy support to state owned Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL) for its 2,400 MW coal-fired power plant.

Since OTPCL, a 50:50 joint venture between Odisha Mining Corporation and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), is inexperienced in executing thermal power project, top state officials had requested NTPC to provide technical consultancy to the state PSU.

State-run BHEL plans to invest up to Rs 2,000 crore for setting up solar equipment manufacturing facility having a capacity of 600 MW.

BHEL, grappling with persisting headwinds in the power sector, is betting on business diversification spread across various areas including solar energy and defence sectors. "Initial investment could be around Rs 500-600 crore and then when we (can) expand it. (Overall investment) can go up to Rs 2,000 crore for a 600 MW capacity," BHEL Chairman and Managing Director B P Rao said.

BHEL, L&T keen on only 26% equity

The 2,400 MW (3x800) coal-fired power plant proposed by Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) has hit a roadblock. The state government that is in favour of offloading 74% stake in the power project to a private player given OTPCL's lack of expertise in implementing a power project, is struggling to find a suitable strategic partner.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday expressed concern over the “delay” in completion of Rs 9,000 crore projects of navratna company BHEL, saying the state was facing acute power crisis and the delay will affect development of the state.

Reviewing various works being done by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited in the state, he said that while BHEL was executing power projects worth Rs 9,000 crore in UP, and “work was lagging behind due to various reasons.”

In the backdrop of India progressing towards increasing efficiency of coal fired power plants to reduce green house gas emissions even while holding on to the trajectory of economic growth, an inte

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the mines ministry had moved a note for the sale of the government’s residual stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium (Balco).

The matter would go to the Cabinet and the finance ministry would give its views in due course, he said. And, declined to comment on the pricing, noting he’d earlier recused from this matter.

NHPC, pre-dominantly focussed on hydro power generation, has decided to explore the possibility of a tie-up with public sector power utilities such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and NTPC to make a foray into thermal power generation, including bidding jointly for a future ultra mega power project (UMPP).

Sources in the Power Ministry said that the NHPC board had recently granted approval for entering other modes of generation, including thermal, with a view to diversifying its business.

14-hour power cut coupled with high cost of diesel takes a toll

Unable to cope up with 14 hours of power cut a day and high cost of diesel to run generator sets, BHEL Small and Medium Industries’ Association (BHELSIA) has kept its options open on exploring alternative sources for power generation. The association intends to determine feasibility for establishing a 10 MW captive unit, or see if solar power generation will serve their requirement. For, at the prevailing cost of diesel, the units are unable to survive by running generator sets for backup power. The ancillaries are prepared to invest on generator sets, but are unable to meet the recurring cost towards fuel. However, the proposal for establishment of captive power plant will be pursued only in the long run.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd intends to set up a 5 MW solar power plant in its boiler auxiliary plant complex at Ranipet near Chennai.