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Nagaland’s power potentials yet to be sufficiently exploited: APEN

Vision Document on Power released

Association of engineers releases Vision Document

KOHIMA, MARCH 4: Despite being endowed with promising hydropower potential and favourable topography, Nagaland’s power potentials are yet to be sufficiently exploited and harnessed due to lack of resources leading to acute shortage between demand and availability of electricity in the State.

This was stated in the “Vision Document 2021” presented by the Association of Power Engineers Nagaland (APEN) on the occasion of World Engineering Day (WED) organized by the Federation of Nagaland State Engineering Service Association (FONSESA) at Hotel Vivor, Kohima today.
The Vision Document (VD) 2021 was officially released by Minister for PWD (Housing & Mechanical) Tongpang Ozukum on the occasion of WED.
The vision statement of the document aims to give impetus to the economic growth for transforming the State through the intervention of the Power department.
The Vision Document assumes significance against the backdrop of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly’s deliberation on “Power Reforms in Nagaland” during the recent budget session.
The document has been presented as a guide and reference for policymakers, planners and all stakeholders in building a robust power infrastructure for delivery of quality, affordable and uninterrupted power supply and availability of power on demand.
On infrastructure development, the VD 2021 stated that the number of consumers in the State as of 2020 was 2,99,825 with the Peak and Off Peak demand being 179 MW and 120 MW respectively while the energy consumption is 854 MU.
It said that the State’s energy demand is predominantly met from the central sector allocations (90%), and own generation contributing approximately 10% only.
From the various sources of power for the State is 155 MW from central sector allocation and State-owned 24 MW, it informed, adding that during monsoon season only 115 MW is available from central sector and 21 from State-owned sector while in lean season it is 98 MW from central and 12 from State.
Against the present peak demand of 179 MW, actual drawal is restricted due to system constraints and less availability, the VD 2021 stated.
Maintaining that by 2040, at normative approach of 5% and 7% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for consumers and demand respectively, the growth of electricity consumers in the State is projected to 7,95,524 with Peak and Off Peak demand increasing to 700 MW and 500 MW respectively with an estimated energy consumption at 3,340 MU.
There is a considerable gap between demand and availability even presently and catering to future projected demand is a huge challenge in itself, it stated.
Therefore, the VD 2021 stated that the State power sector must be prepared by building adequate capacities of all the three sectors of generation, transmission and distribution.
In the generation sector, it said that the State-owned installed capacity is only 27 MW and this depends mostly on import from central sector generating stations of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
The aggregate availability from these stations ranging from 70MW to 110MW is far too short of the State’s minimum peak requirement.
As a result, the State is left with little or no option but to agree to purchase power even at very high tariffs or buy expensive power from the market to meet its requirements resulting in huge financial burden to the government with power purchase bills.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio during the Assembly deliberations on ‘Power Reforms’ had informed that the State has been facing a revenue gap of between Rs 150 crore to Rs 229 crore for the last four years.
In this connection, the VD 2021 maintained that developing State-owned generation projects has become very crucial for long term positive impact on the financial as well as socio-economic health of the State besides ensuring energy security.
It is imperative to develop the identified power generation potentials in the State without further delay in order to usher-in overall socio-economic development and be prepared to cater the project peak demand of 700 MW by 2040, it said.
Development of Hydroelectric Powers and solar power will not only enhance the overall generation capacity but shall meet the mandatory Renewable Purchase Obligation for the department, the VD stated.
It also listed the 20 identified power potentials of the State as under:
Dikhu HEP 186 MW, Lower-Tizu HEP 42 MW, Yangnyu HEP 40 MW, Lower-Doyang SHP 24 MW, Tizu-Valley SHP 24 MW, Doyang Stage-Ill SHP 24 MW, Zungki SHP 24 MW, Zungki Stage-II SHP 15 MW, Doyang Stage-V SHP 10 MW, Zungki Stage-III SHP 10 MW, Dzuza SHP 6 MW, Lower Likimro SHP 4.5 MW, Lower-Lang SHP 3 MW, Duilumroi SHP 2.4 MW, Telam SHP 2.4 MW, Dzuna SHP 2.1 MW, Menung SHP 1.2 MW, Solar Grid Connected Power Plant at Jalukie town (NRE) 20 MW, Solar Grid Connected Power Plant at Ganeshnagar (NRE) 20 MW and Solar Grid Connected Power Plant at Zhadima 5 MW.
On Roof Top Solar Power Generation (RTS), the Vision Document stated that power generation by Rooftop Solar system as renewable energy provides a clean alternative to conventional energy and delivers reliability.
With the global pursuit for clean alternative energy sources, RTS power generation should be promoted to come in a big way to bridge the demand-supply gap of the State, it said.
The State Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has notified the NERC (Rooftop Solar Grid Interactive System Net/Gross Metering) Regulations, 2019 for its enforcement.
An indicative installation of RTS generation of at least 81 MW by 2040 is also illustrated by the Vision Document.
Further, the VD 2021 maintained that due to lack of financial resources, Nagaland is yet to develop many of the potential generation projects, while Power department being a Government division is unable to avail funds directly from the financial institutions.

In this, the Vision Document suggested that the financial institutions fund projects that are taken up only by private developers, companies and corporations or under joint ventures.
Therefore, to raise funds from the market for developing power projects either on its own or in JV mode, a power development company registered under the Company Act needs to be established at the earliest, it stated.
In this regard, the proposal for formation of Nagaland Power Development Corporation Limited (NPDCL) submitted by the department to the State government needs to be considered in all earnest, the VD 2021 maintains. (Page News Service)