There will not be any power outage this summer, says K.J. George

The department contemplates to set up a green hydrogen power plant in Mangaluru on pilot basis, says the Minister

Published - February 05, 2024 08:21 pm IST - MANGALURU

Energy Minister K.J. George interacting with the elected representatives and other stakeholders of MESCOM and KPTCL in Mangaluru on Monday, February 5.

Energy Minister K.J. George interacting with the elected representatives and other stakeholders of MESCOM and KPTCL in Mangaluru on Monday, February 5. | Photo Credit: ANIL KUMAR SASTRY

Minister for Energy K.J. George on Monday, February 5, said the department is taking elaborate measures, including increasing thermal power production and resorting to pumped storage systems in hydropower projects, to insulate Karnataka from power outages during the summer.

The Minister was interacting with people’s representatives and other stakeholders of the power sector of Dakshina Kannada district at a programme organised by Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd., (MESCOM) here. Mr. George said the State did not purchase power in the last couple of years due to the COVID-19 impact. This year however, the power demand has shot up from the earlier 8,900 MW to 16,000 MW due to monsoon failure and unfavourable weather conditions affecting wind and solar energy production. Quality coal too was not available due to rains in the coal mining regions, he said.

Tenders would shortly be floated to import coal while the thermal power plants would go for blending of domestic and imported coal as well as coal washing to increase thermal power production. The government has already entered into agreements with Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to buy power under barter system. Karnataka would also get 100 MW power from the Central grid through the Kudligi Thermal Power Plant, the Minister said.

The natural gas-based power plant at Yelahanka would be functional by this month-end generating 370 MW power, Mr. George said. The department has also started experimenting pumped storage system for power generation at the Sharavathi and Varahi hydropower plants wherein water used for power generation would be pumped back to the reservoir to generate power once again.

Green hydrogen plant

The Minister said the department was planning to produce green hydrogen power in Mangaluru on pilot basis with the government coming out with a policy soon. Though Pavagada in Tumakuru was chosen earlier for the pilot, Mangaluru was found suitable as it was located on the coast. Hydrogen produced from the seawater mixed with Ammonia generate green hydrogen power, which Gujarat and Rajasthan have already been producing.

To begin with, a 300 KW plant wold be set up with private participation in Mangaluru. Many investors were keen to invest in this sector in Karnataka at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Legislators D. Vedavyasa Kamath, Ashok Kumar Rai, B.M. Farooq and Manjunath Bhandary, KPTCL Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey, MESCOM Managing Director D. Padmavathi and others were present.

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