Brace for power cuts from today

Brace for power cuts from today

Increase in demand forces escoms to load shedding

Brace for power cuts from today

All the Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs) in the State will resort to load shedding from Saturday in the wake of steep increase in demand in the last two days coupled with drop in power production in Raichur and Bellary thermal power plants.

Sources in the energy department said that against the demand of about 8,300 MW, the State was able to supply only about 6,000 MW. To tide over the crisis, the State is now planning to buy power. “We have already initiated measures by floating short-term tender for purchasing 500 MW power,” a senior government official told Deccan Herald.

Reports from Raichur said that the third, fifth and seventh units at Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) have stopped power generation from Friday. The RTPS has the capacity to generate 1,720 MW from its eight units. But with the breakdown of three units, only 800 MW was being generated.

The third unit was closed down for annual maintenance while the fifth and seventh units witnessed technical snags. However, the seventh unit would be ready for power generation by Friday night, said RTPS Executive Director Venugopal. There were problems in Bellary Thermal Power Station too, which contributed to the crisis. 

The officer said the crisis intensified due to sudden rise in demand. On an average, the demand remains somewhere betwen 7,100 MW to 7, 300 MW but in the last two days it shot up to 8,000 MW to 8,100 MW, which is almost 1,000 mw high. The challenge before the Escoms was to ensure regular power supply in Bangalore, where the demand is quite high.

To discuss the worsening power crisis, a top level meeting would take place on Saturday morning, said an official adding that the government will not allow people to panic and would find a way out at the earliest. “In the meeting, the officials will also discuss their summer plan, when the demand spirals significantly. As part of the Energy department’s long-term plan, the Karnataka Power Corporation of Limited has decided to float tender to purchase 1,000 MW of electricity, the officer said.