Unscheduled load-shedding looms large over State

Unscheduled load-shedding looms large over State

Electricity supply cos to approach KERC to formalise power cuts

The five power supply companies (escoms) in Karnataka are readying themselves to formalise load-shedding, as there appears to be no respite to the increasing problems faced by the energy department in procuring electricity from other sources.

For the last one week, most parts of the State have been subjected to unscheduled load-shedding owing to many factors. And the gap between demand and supply continues to widen. With no remedy in sight, Bescom, which hogs a lion’s share of the total power generated in the State, is leading the way by filing an appeal before the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Authority (KERC) on Monday.

Bescom Managing Director P Manivannan told this newspaper that the electricity supply company had been forced to move the regulatory authority as it had been facing a shortage of 1,200 MW. He, however, maintained that there would be no load-shedding in Bangalore, though official sources confirmed otherwise.

“We propose to ration power supply by dividing the load between the agricultural and industrial sectors. The domestic and commercial sectors will not be affected, though towns and Tier-II cities around Bangalore may face power cuts during the day. There will be no load-shedding in Bangalore. In case the situation worsens, we’ll have to resort to one hour load-shedding,” he said.

During peak hours, Bescom supplies around 4,000 MW. Its agricultural load is 900 MW and the industrial load 1,200 MW. Manivannan said Bescom was getting only 16 MW from wind energy as against the usual 500 MW, daily.

Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) Managing Director S Selvakumar said that the gap had widened because of a sudden dip in the generation of energy from wind. He said the availability was around 40 MW, of the 1,200 MW capacity. Deficit rainfall coupled with depleting water levels in reservoirs has hit power generation at hydel stations as well.

Added to this, maintenance works have been taken up in three units (6, 7 and 8) of the Raichur Thermal Power Station and the only generating unit of the Bellary Thermal Power Station, leading to an acute power shortage, he said.

Mescom, which was supplying less than 200 MW till about last week, has been grappling with a sudden spurt in demand. “Till last week, thanks to the rains, we were in a comfortable situation. But now, the demand has suddenly risen to 500 MW,” said Mescom Managing Director, Vijay Narasimhan.

Hescom Managing Director, Rajendra Cholan, said that he would follow Bescom’s suit and propose a “rotation policy” to be incorporated division-wise. Hescom, which supplies 1,065 MW plus 250 MW via wind energy, is facing a shortage of around 300 MW. He said many North Karnataka districts had been hit because of this shortage. “On Monday, all the escoms will submit the petition. Also, to pull off the rotation policy, there needs to be co-ordination between all the escoms. Hopefully, we can put  a system in place shortly,” he added.