Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said here today the Government of India will provide a financing facility worth about Rs. 1600 crore through the World Bank for the “Himachal Pradesh Power Sector Development Program” (HPPSDP). With the State equity the total program cost will be approximately Rs. 2000 crore. He said that World Bank funding under this Program is expected to be available by early next year. Both the World Bank and Department of MPP & Power are working expeditiously towards finalization of the Program preparation and the Program duration will be of five years, starting from year 2023 to 2028, he added.
Chief Minister said that this Program aims to undertake holistic power sector reforms in a manner to allow for improvements in the renewable energy integration in the state. The key result areas through which this is being targeted are–improvements in utilization of the state’s power sector resources in renewable, improvements in reliability of the state’s grid at transmission and distribution level; and, strengthening of the institutional capacities of the various state’s power utilities/agencies.
He said that through this programme the efforts will be made towards promotion of integrated resource planning to allow for comprehensive planning of the power sector, piloting demand response management, improving the technical utilization of the existing hydropower assets to facilitate increased integration with other sources of renewable energy and the establishing of a single trading desk to allow for efficient trading of the State’s power. These interventions will allow the state to maximize the revenue earned from the sale of energy through renewable balancing capacity.
Chief Minister said that the Program also aims to install new capacities in solar generation of about 200 MW, through HPPCL and HIMURJA. It is important for the State to meet its power requirements to allow for optimal trading and hence the Program shall also focus on strengthening the power network within the state –at transmission (by HPPTCL) and in 13 towns at distribution levels (by HPSEBL). An up gradation of the systems of the State Load Dispatch Center (HPSLDC) would further allow for better management of power demand and supply. Collectively, these all interventions shall allow for an improved transfer of power within the state by improving the reliability and quality of power supply.
Chief Minister said that one of the major interventions through this World Bank supported Program will be towards strengthening the Environmental & Social systems applicable to the State’s power sector to allow for better monitoring and evaluation of these aspects. The focus here will be to work further on detailed Environmental and Social assessments based on the gap analysis of the existing norms, regulations, and the existing studies. Under this World Bank-supported Program there is no new investment in hydropower is envisaged, but the program will help the state develop uniform Environment and Social Policy and Procedures for the power sector utilities and provide benchmarks for the sustainable development of renewable energy in the state. Further this program will also aim to encourage more women participation in the State Power Sector.
It is pertinent to mention that the World Bank team was in Shimla on 23rd and 24th August, 2022 for appraisal of the Program. A series of meetings with various Heads of Departments of Power Sector utilities and Department of Energy were held in this regard.
The concluding meeting was headed by Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman, M.D. HPPCL Ajay Sharma, Director Energy Harikesh Meena, M.D. HPSEBL Pankaj Dhadwal, M.D. HPPTCL Goyal, CEO HIMURJA Rahul Kumar and other senior officers were present in this meeting.
The World Bank team with renowned consultants and various power sector experts participated physically and virtually in these meetings.