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Wind energy output sags, outages make a comeback  

Credit:  The Times of India, timesofindia.indiatimes.com 12 May 2011 ~~

CHENNAI: There has been a sudden drop in wind power generation in the state and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has been forced to reimpose load shedding. The sudden outages have thrown life out of gear for many residents.

The wind energy picked up on April 28 and the power generated soared to 1,800 MW. The TNEB relaxed the load shedding, introduced on April 15, temporarily. But for the past two days the generation from the wind has been dropping. It was 800 MW on Tuesday.

Due to this, the TNEB re-introduced scheduled power cuts from Monday. In some parts of Chennai, the duration of outages exceeded an hour. “In Mylapore, the supply was stopped at 8.45 am and resumed only around 9.30 am,” said K Vasudevan of New Street in Mylapore.

TNEB officials say they have no other option but cut power to manage the situation. “We knew that wind is unreliable and that is why we did not discontinue our power purchase of 2,500 MW. Otherwise, we would have been forced to impose longer hours of load shedding,” said a TNEB official.

Compounding their woes , residents in many areas, including Mandaveli, Mylapore, Virugambakkam, Velachery and Sowcarpet, have been facing heavy voltage fluctuation. “We are not even able to run the air conditioner in this heat,” said Beaulah Juliet, a home maker of Raja Street in Mandaveli.

It is mainly the home makers, elderly and small children who are affected. “It is impossible to cook without electricity as I have an electric cooker,” said Sheela Kumar of Mylapore.

Residents of Nattusuburayan Street in Sowcarpet have been facing regular power cuts for four days. “All residents have been suffering and there has not been any action from the TNEB officials despite repeated complaints,” said Hemant, who runs a business establishment in the locality.

Senior TNEB officials said it was impossible to avoid low voltage and unscheduled power cuts in summer. “The underground cables have a particular capacity to carry power. If there is overloading due to the extensive use of air conditioners, it burns and such problems occur,” said an official adding that low voltage was mainly due to use of equipment to beat the heat.

Source:  The Times of India, timesofindia.indiatimes.com 12 May 2011

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