There is some more bad news for power consumers who are already cribbing about long hours of load-shedding. It now appears that load-shedding would continue in the State till the completion of summer next year although its intensity and duration may reduce.
The only possibility of a miraculous escape is if there is long and repeated spells of heavy rainfall, which looks very uncertain as of now. Meanwhile, the think tank of Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (KPTCL) and Escoms is tense as no permanent solution is in sight immediately.
This is because of the complex nature of the crisis caused by multiple reasons, including poor hydel storage, reduction in thermal generation owing to technical snags, reduction in availability of the Central quota of power, increase in demand for power due to drought, and shortfall in availability of wind power due to poor wind speed.
In terms of capacity, the State is facing a shortage of 3,600 MW to 4,000 MW. While the demand for power is around 9,500 MW, it has been able to supply only about 5,800 MW to 6,000 MW.
Generally, the monsoon season of June to September is considered a pressure-free period when the demand for power would reduce due to rains and the hydel reservoirs would witness good inflows. Taking advantage of this, thermal generating stations would be shut for annual maintenance. But weak monsoon that has resulted in poor hydel storage, which is about 5,000 million units lesser against the previous year’s level, has forced the State to depend solely on thermal generation.
But three thermal generating units are shut owing to technical snag, resulting in a shortfall of about 1,460 MW. What has complicated matters further is the reduction in availability of power from the Central quota to the extent of 500 MW and drastic fall in wind power generation from 1,500 MW to 200 MW.
Though one unit of the UPCL is expected to resume generation any time, it is bound to be shut for about 10 days from September last week for technical reasons. Another unit of the RTPS with a capacity of 200 MW is scheduled to be shut for a 45-day annual maintenance from September 5.
The situation is expected to get eased up to an extent only by January when supply of 450 MW of power from Damodar Valley Corporation and 200 MW from Kudankulam nuclear power plant will start. But it is feared that the demand would have gone up by then due to the increase in dryness, making it difficult for the power utilities to manage supply without load-shedding.
D.K. Shivakumar, Energy Minister: The Centre allowed the State to draw 200 MW from its grid from Wednesday night, which will be supplied during nights. The non-functioning units of Ballari Thermal Power Station and Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. are expected to start supply to the State grid shortly, which is expected to ease the situation.
In a nutshell
State’s present power requirement – 9,500 MW
Total power shortage – 3,600 MW to 4,000 MW
Daily energy requirement – 182 million units (MUs)
Actual requirement being met – 132 MUs to 133 MUs
Additional power expected
MoU signed for buying 750 MW
Damodar Valley Corporation to supply 450 MW from January
State to get 200 MW from Kudankulam nuclear power plant from January
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