While ruling out an increase in power tariff in future, Andhra Pradesh Energy Minister Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao on Sunday announced that the State government would launch power storage batteries as a pilot project in one mandal each in Vizianagaram and Nellore districts.
Stating that the issue figured during the visit of the Chief Minister to the United States, Mr Rao said after inaugurating a new building built by Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh (APEPDCL) at a cost of ₹5.73 crore that storage through battery would help meet the power demands in case of exigencies like Cyclone Hudhud (October 2014).
The new building will house a video conference hall and other offices, including the IT and SAP wings, centralised call centre, load monitoring cell and conference hall at the corporate office of APEPDCL.
The Minister said that per unit cost of power saved in batteries like inverters would cost ₹8 per unit, and hoped that it could come down in future, going by solar power production cost, that had witnessed a remarkable drop from ₹18 to ₹2.41 per unit due to technological advancements.
Mr. Rao said the first-generation reforms implemented by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu during his previous stint had finally paved the way for making Andhra Pradesh a power surplus State. “Henceforth, the power tariff will reduce and there is no scope for further increase in electricity charges,” Mr Rao stated.
The minister said that due to proactive policies of Mr. Naidu, the transmission and distribution losses had been reduced from 27% to 9%. According to him, 1% reduction will result in saving ₹360 crore. Now, A.P had been adjudged No. 1 in India in implementation of power reforms and congratulated APEPDCL for emerging as the best distribution company for the highest realisation of revenue.
Defending the establishment of a nuclear power plant at Kovvada in Srikakulam district by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, Mr Rao said they were taking all precautions and convincing people not to oppose it as India needs nuclear power to become a developed country.
Allaying fears among the locals, he added that the government had decided to award the contract for the construction of rehabilitation colonies to L&T. He said compensation and other benefits were being given as per the new land acquisition enactment.
APEPDCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director M.M. Nayak and Visakha North MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju were present.