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Meghalaya envisages setting up solar park to improve power generation

SHILLONG: State Power Minister Comingone Ymbon has informed that Meghalaya Government has envisaged development of solar power park in the State and already taken up development of two solar parks of capacity 10 MW each.

He was speaking at the 18th North Eastern Regional Power Committee (NERPC) Meeting held on Wednesday at the State Convention Centre, Shillong under the aegis of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).

The Minister further said that the transmission sector in the State was being strengthened and expanded through various schemes, including North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP).

Ymbon informed that the present generation capacity in the state was enhanced to 354.7 MW, with an addition of 40 MW after commissioning of the New Umtru Hydro Electric Project on July 1, 2017.

He informed the gathering that power requirement of the state was primarily met from the State owned generating company, Meghalaya Power Generation Corporation Limited (MePGC).

He added that there were two ongoing small hydro projects, namely Ganol HEP and Lakroh HEP. Survey and investigation are currently underway for 22 Hydro Electric Projects including 16 small hydro projects.

On the other hand, he stated that the North East region was endowed with abundant resources for development of power especially hydro potential but most of these remain untapped

In this connection, he said, “We must all urge the government of India to give special focus to the development of power sector in NE region.”

The State Power Minister also took the opportunity to voice his concern about the dismal power scenario of other states in the North East.

He added, “NER is facing low voltages bottleneck in several pockets, and to address the problem, capacitor bank installation has to be put in place.”

Ymbon maintained that the DPRs of the other sister states of Mizoram and Nagaland, for the above scheme has been kept in low priority and urged upon the states to take the issue strongly with the Central Electricity Authority and Ministry of Power.

Turning to the state of Tripura, he said that the low voltage problem in Tripura was also serious matter and necessary action had to be taken immediately and funding from the Power System Development Fund is to be made available for the North Eastern Region.

According to him, the issue regarding the difficulties faced by the North East Transmission Company and POWERGRID towards maintenance of the 400 KV D/C Pallatana-Silchar line is a matter of concern.

“This is the only highway for the evacuation of power from the 726 MW OTPC, Palltana Gas Based Power Plant of the North Eastern Grid and export to other parts of the country as well,” he said, adding that any outage of this transmission line shall not only lead to constraint in evacuation of generation but also lead to acute power crisis in the region.

“Therefore, continuous and unhindered maintenance is of utmost importance for averting any outage of the transmission line and consequential power interruption,” he added.

Ymbon also urge the Technical Coordination Committee (TCC) to endorse the proposal to review the funding norm under PSDF, to facilitate expeditious execution of PSDF schemes.

He also spoke of the importance of having skilled manpower with regard to the construction activities of power house, transmission lines, sub-stations etc are being carried out by skilled people of other regions.

Stating that it is an area of job creation for the people of the NER, “NERPC Secretariat is requested to look into the matter and explore the possibilities to provide relevant skills to the unemployed youth of the region so that these job opportunities can be given to the youths of the NER.”

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