Tamil Nadu is once again witnessing load shedding five to six hours, due to official mismanagement and failure to pre-plan monsoon failure and growing peak demand.
Calling the present spell of load shedding a “minor blip,” officials of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) attribute it to a host of factors. The demand has remained at 12,000 megawatt (MW) even now and the Corporation is able to provide only 10,000 MW.
About 1,100 megawatt (MW) of energy from the Central Generating Stations (CGS) is not available for reasons such as ongoing annual maintenance and temporary snags. Of this quantum, Neyveli power accounts for nearly 400 MW and supply from Kaiga and Kalpakkam atomic power stations around 290 MW.
Besides, the additional 600-MW unit at Mettur has suspended production to carry out a performance guarantee test, which has to be done before its commissioning. A 330-MW private power plant in Pillaiperumalnallur has been shut down for want of naptha. This adds to the shortage of 2,000 MW of power.
In urban areas, the duration of load shedding is four hours and in the rural, six hours. The Corporation schedules the load shedding in two spells and power supply is maintained during night, say the officials. Chennai has been spared of load shedding again.
As regards the steps being taken to tackle the problem, the officials say the Pillaiperumalnallur plant will resume production on Friday. In one week, most of the units, whose production has been suspended, would follow suit one after the other. Officials are also banking on the nature to come to their rescue with the formation of a depression over the Bay of Bengal. Many parts of the State are expected to witness heavy rainfall. At about 8 a.m. on Thursday, the TANGEDCO met the peak demand of 9,800 MW, of which its thermal power stations contributed 3,070 MW, CGS – 2,700 MW and other sources including temporary purchase through power exchanges accounting for the rest.