The north-eastern region, with its huge energy potential — 50,000 MW, by some estimates — could soon become the “powerhouse” of India. Taking a small first step in this direction, it is expected to feed the rest of the country up to 1,100 MW by the end of this year, energy experts say.
Seven north-eastern states, excluding Sikkim, currently have an installed capacity of 2,690 MW, but as some of the plants are old, the output is some 100 MW short of the peak-hour demand of 2,200-2,300 MW. However, there is a surplus of 300 MW during off-peak hours, while another 767 MW of capacity will be added by year-end. Sikkim is self-sufficient at 95.70 MW.
North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), a mini-ratna company under the Union Ministry of Power, alone generates 1,290 MW from its seven power plants — a mix of hydro-electric, gas- and solar-based units.
“NEEPCO’s generation capacity would rise to 2,060 MW by this end-2017 as commissioning of three more power projects would be completed much before the end of this year,” said NEEPCO’s Chairman and Managing Director AG Kharkongor.