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Stretched to the limits?

Despite the imposition of restriction and control measures for high-tension (HT) consumers and the load shedding being carried out in several parts of the State, the city has, till now, largely remained unaffected.

Though residents have been spared of power cuts, the unusually hot climate, the gradual decrease in wind power, and the fact that a number of thermal substations are under repair raises the question of how far the electricity department can go before scheduled power cuts are brought back.

T. Sadagopan, a consumer activist from Pattabiram, was happy to note that their area had not been experiencing any power cuts or fluctuation in supply, other than the scheduled outage for maintenance.

In a city where the demand for electricity has been growing every year and has touched 3,000 megawatt (MW) against a State-wide production capacity of 13,000 MW, the dependence on infirm wind energy has been the undoing for the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco).

According to data of the State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC), load shedding was reintroduced in the State on September 28 following the power restrictions on HT consumers, with the load shedding on October 1 being 27 million units (MU) against nil recorded last year on the same day.

Adding to the woes of Tangedco is the annual maintenance and repair work being carried out in a few important thermal power stations including the ones in north Chennai, which has a 600 MW capacity, Vallur (500 MW) and Tuticorin (210 MW), as well as the Kundankulam nuclear power plant (1,000 MW), according to data provided by the Southern Regional Load Despatch Centre.

A senior official of Tangedco when asked about the power situation in the State said that as of now no policy decision had been taken on bringing back scheduled power cuts. He added that the supply was bound to improve from Thursday as thermal stations, including those in north Chennai and Tuticorin, would be back in operation.