A full-fledged Department of Power under Government of West Bengal came into being on 19th September, 1972. Until then, matters pertaining to power were being looked after by the Electricity Development Directorate under the Department of Commerce & Industries. The driving forces/factors behind the decision to create a separate department under the stewardship of a Minister-in-charge of cabinet rank were:
- Urgent requirement of more power for accelerating the economic growth of the state
- Need for long term perspective planning for generation of power and execution of power projects
- Planning and overseeing appropriate investments in the power sector, both in the public and private domains
- Enactment of appropriate legislation and framing of rules to facilitate the expeditious development of power in the state
- Need for coordinating and dovetailing the activities of various power generation and distribution utilities in the state cohesively
The Non-conventional Energy Sources wing was transferred to this department on 18th April of 2001 from the Department of Science & Technology to ensure better co-ordination and integration of renewable energy in the overall development of the sector.
The Department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources is at present functioning from The Bidyut Unnayan Bhavan (5th Floor), 3/C, LA Block, Sector-III Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700 098.
The State is now in a position to export power to other states after meeting its internal demand fully and the surplus power in often banked with the states having deficits and the same is returned to the state in the critical summer months. Many more power projects are coming up, suitably programmed to meet the project demand growth until the end of the 13th plan period. The stress, now, is on the commensurate strengthening of the transmission and distribution network in the state to widely disperse the availability of quality power especially in rural Bengal. Development of a state-of-the-art IT facility with state-wide coverage has already been undertaken which have resulted in betterment of consumer services by the various utilities in the state. Steps have also been taken for implementation of ERP in WBSEDCL & WBSETCL which will revolutionize the way the business is conducted in these utilities.