Centre plans to enhance the power transmission capacity in the country by almost three times by 2020, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said today, adding that South India has achieved power surplus status due to various initiatives.
"We have brought solar revolution in a big way to India. In the last two years, there was highest ever renewable energy capacity expansion in wind and solar. In fact, solar energy capacity, which was 2,400 MW in 2014, has now crossed 7,000 MW," the Coal, Power and Renewable Energy Minister told reporters here.
Stating that gas-based power plants which were lying idle for lack of fuel have now started operations, he said most of these plants are in South India.
The minister said as much as 71 per cent of transmission capacity from the Northern and Eastern grids have been connected to South India.
"All these steps put together have led to South India becoming power surplus. They have the ability to provide power 24/7 throughout South India," he said.
"With all the thrust we are giving to renewable power, we are focusing to further increase the transmission capacity to make it nearly three times more than what it is today, by 2020," he added.
Referring to the purchase of power between states, he said, "Two years ago when a state like Tamil Nadu had to buy power, it was around Rs 8, Rs 10, Rs 12 or even Rs 14 a unit, particularly in summer months."
"I am delighted to share with you now that on most days, power is available at the same price in North India as in South India...," he said without elaborating.
"In earlier days, South India had to buy power at five times the cost of Northern India. Now, we have almost got it on par," he said.
On his scheduled meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa later in the day, he said it would be a courtesy call.