With fewer residents using ACs, requirement down by 600 MW; load-shedding may be done away with this year
With rains lashing the city on and off, the demand for power has gone down considerably.
Temperatures have been falling and evenings have remained pleasant, making residents disinclined to turn on their air-conditioners. Though this is good news for the power-starved State, residents in many parts of the city continue to complain of voltage fluctuations.
According to an official of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, the showers have reduced the demand for power in the city by nearly 600 Mega Watts (MW) to about 2,400 MW at present.
Over the last month or so, rising mercury levels had led to the average power demand shooting up to 3000 MW. “But now, because of the rains, the usage of air-conditioners has decreased. This has helped in bringing down the demand to nearly 2,400 MW. Sometimes it even drops to 2,200 MW,” said the official.
Thanks to the drop in demand, load shedding — the regular, daily two-hour power cut that residents had been used to for months — has not been taking place in many parts of the city.
Residents however complained that power cuts continue to occur in some parts due to technical snags. “Though there is no load shedding, there are voltage fluctuations. Sometimes, power supply gets disrupted due to technical snags such as faulty conductors and transformer problems” said T. Sadagopan, a resident of Pattabiram.
The situation is similar in several other localities including Kodungaiyur, Thoraipakkam, Perungudi and some suburbs.
“The situation is not as bad as it was before. Earlier, there used to be heavy voltage fluctuations. Now this does not happen very often. However, during the rains there are outages which last for about an hour,” said K. Ananthalakshmi, a resident of Thoraipakkam.
Officials said that since the power situation had improved, power cuts only took place if there was a major problem at a sub-station. “We attend to all faults immediately,” he said.
Chennai apart, the rest of the State too, has witnessed a decline in the demand for power. After the downpours, demand dropped from 12,000 MW to 10,412 MW. “Because of the drop in demand, we have been able to supply quite a bit of power to the agricultural sector,” said an official.
Officials claimed that load-shedding could be done away with completely by this year, as generation projects and long-term power purchases were likely to provide enough electricity to bridge the demand-supply gap.
“As of now, the generation in the State is around 9,000 MW. We will get an additional 3,000 MW once the generation units in Vallur, North Chennai and Mettur start functioning. We will also get around 460 MW from Kudankulam,” an official said.