The southern grid will get an additional 4,000 MW of power in the next one year to mitigate the woes of electricity-deficit states, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
Power transmission capacity to the southern grid has been improved by 71 per cent in the last 18 months, thereby enabling transmission of more power from the north, Goyal said, addressing a meeting.
Earlier, the minister dedicated the 1600-MW super critical mega Damodaram Sanjeevaiah Thermal Power Station of the Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation at Krishnapatnam, 20-km from Nellore.
By 2020, an additional 18,000 MW of power would be made available to the southern grid, he said.
According to Goyal, the Centre was working on a new policy to ensure adequate coal linkage to thermal power projects.
"Thermal plants have been forced to import coal at higher prices but now we will ensure linkages to cheaper domestic coal. This will eliminate need to import coal," said Goyal, who also holds the coal portfolio.
He said all agricultural pump sets would be replaced in the next three years with solar pump sets.
"This will bring in revolutionary saving for farmers," he added.
Lauding Andhra Pradesh for taking rapid steps to improve the power sector, the minister said the state could ensure 24x7 power supply within seven months of the current government coming to power in 2014.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed me to mitigate the power woes of Andhra Pradesh as it was reeling under a severe crisis following the state's bifurcation.
"Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's first wish was to supply 24x7 power in 12 months but he could achieve it just seven months. And the state has been consistently doing it," Goyal pointed out.
Even in power conservation, Andhra was leading in the country with the use of energy-efficient LED bulbs, the minister added.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Prakash Javadekar, Y S Chowdary, state ministers and others attended the event.