World Bank $ 200 Million Fund For Himachal Power Reforms

Shimla: Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said here today that the World Bank is financing around Rs. 1600 Crore for the ‘Himachal Pradesh Power Sector Development Program’ to undertake holistic power sector reforms in a manner to allow for improvements in the renewable energy integration in the state. With the State equity the total program cost is approximately more than Rs. 2000 crore. Under this programme the World Bank funding is expected to be available by August, 2023 and for duration of five years i.e. from 2023 to 2028, he added.

The Chief Minister said that the improvements in utilization of the state’s power sector resources in renewable energy, improvements in reliability of the state’s grid at transmission and distribution level and strengthening of the institutional capacities of the various states’ power utilities/agencies would be undertaken under the programme.

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.
Sh. Sukhu said that the Programme 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.

The Program would strengthen the Environmental & Social systems applicable to the State’s power sector to allow for better monitoring and evaluation of these aspects. He said that the focus would also be to work further on detailed Environmental & 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, he added.

Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that now the World Bank Board has approved the program on 27th June, 2023 at Washington. The agreement in this regard will now be taken up shortly in the month of July, 2023 and the Ist installment of this Fund to Himachal Pradesh is expected in August, 2023.

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