De-Dieselization of Power Generation in North & Middle Andaman

Port Blair, June 22: The economic crisis triggered by the COVID – 19 pandemic is a signal of a paradigm shift required in the power sector via liberalization, privatization and localization. The ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT PLAN – Phase 1, shall encompass the unfinished agenda of holistic reforms through De-dieselization of the power generation in these islands.

Various structural reforms are being undertaken in power sector that shall pave the way for realization of Atmanirbhar Bharat Plan. This may usher in unprecedented opportunities, in areas like skill development and localized employment generation, provided the funding gaps are adequately addressed and would finally help in achieving the goal of a Self – Sustainable Island Economy.

Andaman and Nicobar Administration along with Ministry of Power, and Ministry of New and Renewable source of Energy, is striving hard to de-dieselize the power generation by augmenting renewable energy and clean energy projects in entire Islands. In part fulfillment of this plan North & Middle Andaman has been taken-up in first phase, by introducing both CLEAN and GREEN energy projects.

A judicious mix of clean and green energy has been proposed as a long term solution for meeting the power demand for the entire stretch of North & Middle Andaman which has a maximum power demand of 12 MW during peak load hours presently being partly met through 5.25 MW Hydro Power Plant and remaining from diesel generation. 

EESL has been tasked with 5.71 MWp Solar Rooftop plants on all Government buildings.  EESL has also been engaged to carry out a study on the gas based power generation unit in N&M Andaman to ensure 24x7 power supply.

Further, SECI has been entrusted with setting up of a 4 MWp Floating Solar Power Plant with 1 MWhr BESS in Kalpong reservoir.  SECI has also been requested to establish   6 MWp Ground mounted solar park with 9 MWhr Energy storage battery in Middle Andaman.

In order to ensure consumer participation in greening of the islands, a separate solar tariff proposal has been approved by JERC for incentivizing such consumers who have installed solar power plants to meet at least 15% equivalent of the connected load in their premises/rooftop with net metering arrangements. The separate solar tariff has been made lucrative by clubbing of slabs in 0-200 range besides reduction in cost per unit so that the consumer can reap financial benefits as well become self-reliant. This shall have a reflection on the annual power purchase cost as there will be a reduction in the energy consumption of such prosumers thereby warranting diesel saving.

In N&M Andaman, the diesel saving expected from this plan will be around 10000 KL per year with a cost reduction of around Rs.50 to Rs.60 crores on Govt exchequer. The entire de-dieselization project for N&M Andaman is targeted for completion by 2023. 

Aiming to make these islands a significant tourist destination GOI has planned to develop Eco tourism resorts in four islands viz. Ross, Smith, Aves and Long island in Middle & North Andaman. In order to show case unique blend of hospitality and conservation these tourism resorts shall be powered by using renewable resources.

The de-dieselization plan of N&M Andaman shall fulfill the vision to make these islands an ultimate and unique eco tourism destination enabling global recognition by promoting nature’s conservation and contributing to inclusive economic empowerment of islanders.