Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal, has launched ‘Coal Mitra’, a Web portal for flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal. He also released reports on ‘Renewable Energy Integration: Transmission an Enabler’, ‘Green Energy Corridor II’ and ‘Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis’. Goyal was presiding over an event, ‘Empowering the Grid to meet Future Challenges’, organised by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), under the auspices of the Ministry of Power.
The Coal Mitra portal has been designed to bring about flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal by transferring the reserves to more cost-efficient state/Centre owned or private sector generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers.
The Web portal would be used by state/Central generating companies to display information about normative fixed and variable charges of electricity for the previous month as well as margin available for additional generation so as to enable the utilities to identify stations for transfer of coal. It would host data on operational and financial parameters of each coal-based station, quantity and source of coal supply to power plants and distance of the power plant from the coal mine.
On 4th May 2016, the Cabinet had approved the proposal for allowing flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal amongst power generating stations. Further, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) formulated the methodology for this on 8th June 2016, followed by the issuance of a memorandum by the Ministry of Power on 10th June 2016. The methodology for use of transferred coal in generating stations run by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) would be issued separately.