Heat is on for Energy dept as rain recedes in state

Heat is on for Energy dept as rain recedes in state

The state's thermal plants had been shut during monsoon as the demand for electricity was less. dh file photo

The receding rains and the resultant dip in output from natural resources has upped the demand for thermal power in the state, causing concerns for the Energy department.

Though the dependency on thermal resources has increased, the coal supply and storage have not normalised. This has forced the department to exploit thermal plants to a limited extent only. 

Till Monday morning, all units of the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) were working, by evening one of them was shut down, with an output of 1,145 MW, against the installed capacity of 1,720 MW.

All two Yeramarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS) units were shut down till Monday evening. Only two units of Ballari Thermal Power Station were operational, generating 617 MW of power, against the installed capacity of 1,700 MW.

The total generation on Monday was 7,778 MW. That from Karnataka was 4,118 MW. Of this, 1,984 MW was from conventional sources and 1,516 MW from non-conventional resources.

Ravi Kumar, additional chief secretary, Energy department, told DH that thermal units had been shut down during monsoon as demand for power was less.

Now, the demand has started to increase and energy generation from natural resources, especially wind, is coming down. Solar energy output depends on the number of sunny days. So, thermal units have to be restarted again. 

G Kumar Naik, KPCL managing director, said during monsoon, coal supply was also less. However since use of thermal energy was less, there was some coal accumulation. But the stock will not last long. 

According to sources, there is just 2.5 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of coal in RTPS, of the required 4 lakh MT. Similar is the case at BTPS and YTPS, where coal stock is less than the requirement.

“We will now have to wait and see what happens till September end and in October. In the last three months (during monsoon), coal supply had dropped by around 50% from Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Talks for coal linkage have resumed with the central government and Sinagerni Collieries. We have to see how coal supply can be increased. Since we have lost 1,000 MW from wind energy, it has to be compensated for with thermal,” said Naik.

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