Widening power deficit causing longer outages

Energy dept saves hydel sources for summer; situation may ease by Oct 7

Widening power deficit causing longer outages

Frequent power cuts appear to have become the order of the day in the State, including Bengaluru.

The unscheduled load-shedding will continue in Bengaluru and other parts of the State due to huge gap in demand and supply. The State is facing a deficit of 1,500 to 1,800 mega watt (MW).

The demand-supply gap is fluctuating, depending on climatic conditions such as flow of wind and rainfall. The power utilities have no option but to resort to unscheduled load shedding, KPTCL Managing Director Jawaid Akthar said.

Additional Chief Secretary to Energy department P Ravi Kumar, however, said the situation was likely to ease from October 7 when a unit of Ballari Thermal Power Station (BTPS) of 400 MW is expected to resume power generation. Currently, the State is purchasing 1,110 MW from the open market to tide over the situation. Efforts are being made to purchase an additional 800 MW from various states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Kumar said the State had almost completely stopped generation from hydel sources.
“Water level in all hydel reservoirs is already low. We have decided to keep hydel sources reserved for the summer months, from January to May, 2016. Hence, the State is currently facing shortage in availability of power,” he added.

Earlier, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said the government had decided not to increase the duration of load-shedding despite the power situation being grim. The State has an average 5,900 MW of power available against the average demand of 7,500 MW.

The government will extend financial assistance to electricity supply companies, including Bescom, to purchase power, the minister said.

He said he had written to the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, urging them to give away their share of power from Central allocation to Karnataka, so that it can cope with the problem. These states have surplus power, Shivakumar said.

The minister said that the Energy department had decided to purchase a total of 3,500 MW of power to meet the demand in the next 10 years. Of this, 2,000 MW will be purchased for long term, 1,000 MW for the medium term and 500 MW of solar power will be purchased in the short term.

Tenders will be floated soon for the purchase, he added.

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