Dip in power demand shuts thermal units

DH file photo for representation.

The Energy department has cut down power generation by closing down its key generation units.

The department has taken this decision, as there is low demand for electricity. According to officials, this will continue till September, the end of monsoon.

Energy department additional chief secretary Ravi Kumar told DH that there is sufficient power generation from natural resources.
So, reducing power generation from other sources, especially thermal, has been reduced.

Another major reason for shutting down thermal units is shortage of coal. The department has shut down two units each of the Raichur and Ballari thermal power stations and one unit of the Yeramarus station.

On an average, the state’s demand is 225 MU a day, but during pre-monsoon and monsoon, the demand ranges between 160 and 175 MU. As on May 29, the demand was 172.44 MU. Last year, on May 29, the demand was 160.4 MU and in 2016, the demand was 156.4 MU.

There is an average increase of 5% annually in energy consumption because of increase in the number of consumers.

Kumar said shutting of the units was nothing new. It has been done in the past for maintenance. But this time, it is not because of maintenance.

Karnataka is generating 5,023 MW of solar energy (highest in India) and 4,600 MW of wind energy. There is shortage of coal stock.
There is just 30,000 metric tonnes of coal reserve in Karnataka and every day, the state gets 25,000 metric tonnes of coal.

“So looking at the present conditions, it is ideal to use green energy and close down thermal units,” he said.

Last year, the department had closed down thermal units in June second week for a short duration. But this time, it has been done early due to good pre-monsoon showers and less demand from irrigation pumpsets
and commercial establishments.

A senior KPCL official explained, “When production from thermal units drops below 70%, it is best to
shut them down. It is for the first time so many units
have been shut down for such a long duration. KPTCL also requested us to close down the units as transformers cannot handle increase in load and may lead to technical problems.”

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Dip in power demand shuts thermal units

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