While Rajasthan is facing severe power shortfall, the wind power units, which have bailed out the state in such situations in the past, are of little help this time due to post-monsoon low wind season.
“The wind speed falls after September, and so wind power cannot make up for loss in thermal power output,” Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation managing director BK Dosi told HT. Rajasthan has an installed wind energy capacity of 4,280 MW.
The power generation at thermal power plants in Rajathan has fallen by 3,000 MW as compared to 2,700 MW a week ago due to acute coal shortage.
Ironically, the wind developers have complained that the state power companies did not make full use of the wind power available during the high-wind season, which lasts from April to September.
In June, the Wind Independent Power Producers Association (WIPPA) had criticised the state power companies (also known as discoms) for “backing down” wind power and using thermal power instead. “In May, on an average, there were five hours of back down per MW of wind and taking into account the state’s capacity of 4,000 MW the total comes at 20,000 hours,” WIPPA president Sunil Jain said.
Dosi, however, said the reason for not fully utlising wind power during peak season had to do with “the erratic power supply”. The wind energy is erratic in nature and the output of a wind farm depends on the speed at which the wind is blowing.
Discom officials said it will take two to three weeks for the coal supply to normalise and so the load-shedding that has started with effect from Sunday will continue on a rotational basis until the coal supply is restored.
Officials said that making up for the shortage from power exchange is also unviable due to the high rate at which the power is now being sold (₹9 per unit), necessitating load-shedding on rotational basis.
According to sources, the thermal power stations are facing critical shortage of coal, as heavy rains in the coal producing states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh had flooded the mines.
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