Central Electricity Regulatory Commission directs power exchanges to maintain a price cap of ₹12/unit till December

It expects the demand to remain high owning to the festive season and winter

September 29, 2022 08:32 pm | Updated 08:32 pm IST - CHENNAI

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has extended the price cap of ₹12 per unit on power exchanges till December, 2022, amid anticipated demand during the festive season and winter.

At a recent meeting of the Operation Coordination Sub-Committee of the Southern Regional Power Committee, under the Central Electricity Authority, Tamil Nadu said it would manage any likely deficits from September 2022 to January 2023 through purchases from the real-time market.

As per data shared at the meeting, the State’s evening peak demand is expected to be 15,300 MW in October 2022, 14,500 MW in November 2022 and 15,000 MW in December 2022. The availability is likely to be 14,574 MW in October 2022, 13,895 MW in November 2022 and 13,537 MW in December 2022.

In May 2022, CERC had directed the power exchanges to cap prices at ₹12 per unit, as the prices went up to ₹20 per unit. This was initially applicable till June 30, 2002 and was later extended till September 30. Now, the cap will be applicable from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

The All-India peak demand has been fluctuating and touched 199 GW on September 7. Based on the past trend, it is expected that the peak demand (morning and evening peaks) would remain significant due to lighting and heating load in the winter months, the CERC said in its order issued on Thursday.

As per the emerging demand-supply situation in the power sector, it is expected that despite the fall in temperature, high demand for electricity, particularly from household and industrial consumers, is likely to continue over the next few months mainly due to the festive season and pressure emanating from lighting and heating load, it noted. Moreover, agricultural load will persist over the next few months on account of harvesting of kharif crops and sowing of winter crops, the CERC added.

Domestic coal stock seems to be well positioned when compared with the stock during October-December last year. However, as per the past trend, it is expected that generation from hydro and wind will start decreasing from October onwards, which is likely to exert pressure on coal stock, it added.

During the last three months, the Market Clearing Price (MCP) of ₹12 per unit in the day ahead market has generally been discovered during the evening hours from 18:30, the CERC said. From September 15, 2022 onwards, morning and evening peaks in MCP are being observed in day ahead market at Indian Energy Exchange. These peaks are anticipated to become steeper during the winter season, it said.

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