May , 2024
DVC achieves record power generation in its 75-year journey
15:15 pm

Kishore Kumar Biswas

The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has accomplished a significant milestone by generating 43.32 billion units of electricity during the fiscal year 2022-23. This achievement marks a growth rate of 6.5% compared to the previous fiscal year 2021-22. DVC operates thermal and hydropower plants throughout the Damodar River basin, boasting a total installed capacity exceeding 7,000 megawatts. Additionally, DVC has ventured into solar power generation, further diversifying its energy portfolio.

Recent Expansion into Other States

In a noteworthy development, DVC recently forged a partnership with Avaada Energy, a private sector entity, to supply electricity in Gujarat. The agreement, signed in mid-March, entails a 25-year Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) under the auspices of the power ministry’s scheme. Avaada Energy, the renewable energy arm of Avaada Group, becomes the first organization in India to engage in a PPA under the power ministry’s scheme for integrating thermal/hydro power stations with renewable energy and storage power. Vineet Mittal, Chairperson of Avaada Group, remarked, “Following the agreement signing, Avaada Energy has achieved a significant milestone in pioneering flexibility in generation and scheduling of thermal/hydro power stations through bundling with renewable energy and storage power” (Economic Times, March 19th, 2024).

DVC’s Unique Position in India

Established in 1948 by the governments of India, Bihar, and West Bengal, DVC stands as India’s first multipurpose river valley project in the post-independence era. Following Bihar’s bifurcation, DVC’s operations centered on the Jharkhand region, thereby concluding Bihar’s partnership. While power generation remains a core aspect of DVC’s activities, its mandate extends beyond electricity production. DVC was conceived with the overarching goals of flood control within the Damodar River basin, encompassing parts of Jharkhand and significant portions of southwestern Bengal, as well as regional development initiatives. These endeavors encompass infrastructure development, healthcare, education, sports promotion, fisheries, support for small-scale enterprises, and cultural enrichment across the DVC’s jurisdictional area. Over the years, DVC has made substantial strides in flood management and socioeconomic infrastructure development, contributing to an elevated standard of living for residents within its purview.

Emphasis on Green Energy Production

During a special session on “Opportunities & Challenges for DVC - The Way Forward” organized by MCCI, Kolkata, on April 3rd, S. Suresh Kumar, IAS, Chairman of DVC, underscored the corporation’s commitment to green energy. Kumar highlighted DVC’s abundant open space, totaling 20 lakh hectares surrounding dam areas, offering ample opportunities for renewable energy ventures and power transmission infrastructure. The Government of India’s concerted efforts to ramp up renewable energy capacity, aiming for 500 gigawatts by 2030 and targeting 50% energy self-reliance from renewable sources by the same year, align with DVC’s green energy focus. Amidst the global transition towards energy self-sufficiency,

India endeavors to achieve energy independence by 2047. Despite coal’s pre-dominant role in India’s energy landscape, challenges such as quality disparities and volatile international prices underscore the imperative for diversifying energy sources and enhancing domestic production.

Challenges and Strategies

Chairman Kumar delineated several challenges confronting DVC, including impediments to hydropower production due to high sand content, necessitating innovative solutions for volume conservation in dams like Maithon and Panchet. Addressing disparities in power tariffs between Bengal and Jharkhand poses another challenge, which DVC aims to streamline under a unified tariff commission for both states, thereby mitigating litigation risks for power purchasers. Furthermore, anticipating future coal import demands amidst rising power requirements underscores the need for proactive planning and coordination between state governments and DVC. Improving power transmission in- frastructure and enhancing customer relation-ship management constitute pivotal strategies for navigating these challenges and ensuring DVC’s continued growth trajectory.

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