August 27, 2008

Demand Shoots, As Do Outages

NEW DELHI: Yet again, as the power demand in the city began to rise, the Capital started facing a shortfall in power generation. According to the state government's power department, there was a shortfall of 250 MW in peak hours due to the untimely shutdown of three power plants. To make up for this loss, Delhi had to overdraw up to 600 MW from the Northern Grid.

A senior power department official said: "There was a loss in generation of 250 MW as some units of Gas Turbine, Rajghat and Indraprastha were shut. When the demand shot up over 500 MW from the previous day's load, we had to overdraw from the grid to meet the demand." The officials said, a 150 MW unit in Gas Turbine, 60-MW unit in Rajghat and 40 MW unit at Indraprastha were out.

The demand recorded was just over 3,700 MW, up from Sunday's peak load of about 3,300 MW. Residents in some parts of the city complained of power cuts at irregular intervals. Said Vera Khanna from Dwarka: "The power supply went off thrice in the day for short durations. Thankfully, they never lasted long. And so, we did not bother to lodge a complaint with the concerned discom."

Meanwhile, senior officials also reported that hydro power in the Northern Region - which had been slow for some time - had finally started to pick up and was peaking. For some time, Delhi had to depend on surplus power from other regions as poor hydro power generation had led to an overall shortage in the northern region. However, plants like Tehri seem to be picking up.

According to the officials at Northern Load Dispatch Centre, the per-day hydro generation has increased from less than 100 million units (mu), ten days ago, to over 250 mu on Monday. The officials also added that surplus power was being saved in reservoirs for future needs if the demand shoots up to unprecedented levels.

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