Temporary suspension of load-shedding during ‘dog days' has city smiling
On Sunday afternoon, at 3.30 p.m., S. Naresh of Royapettah switched on the television to watch his favourite film. Even though he enjoyed the movie, he kept an eye on the time, anticipating the regular load-shedding of power from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Surprisingly though, there was no power cut — thanks to the nearly 2,500 Mega Watts (MW) of wind power generated in the State.
This timely measure brought not just relief to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), but also a smile to the faces of all Chennai residents. “The ‘dog days' have started and the heat is unbearable. Luckily, there is no load-shedding, so it is possible to catch an afternoon nap with the air-conditioner on,” said K. Smitha, a house wife residing in Mylapore.
The wind power generation capacity in the state is nearly 7,000 MW. “On an average we get nearly 2,500 MW and sometimes it even touches 3,000 MW. The main wind season is between May and October, so we hope the generation will be good,” said a senior TANGEDCO official.
Even officials are surprised as the wind season has started somewhat early. “Usually the generation picks up only around mid-May, but this time, it started at the beginning of the month. At present, the demand is 10,000 MW and supply is also 10,000 MW. So we are able to temporarily suspend load-shedding,” said the official.
However, officials are reluctant to formally announce the lifting of load-shedding. “Wind is a non-reliable source of electricity. Sometimes it drops to zero and then we will have to re-impose scheduled power cuts. TANGEDCO does not want to take that risk,” said the official.
Apart from the significant amount of wind energy generated, the 40 per cent power restriction for industries has also helped TANGEDCO save nearly 1,000 MW. “This is also one of the reasons the demand has dropped. So we are able to provide uninterrupted power supply to residents,” said the official.
However N. Arundhati, a resident of New Avadi Road, Kilpauk, which has load-shedding from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., said on Saturday, there was a power cut. “On Sunday there was no load-shedding. In Adyar though, there was a one-hour power cut. So it is very erratic,” she said.
TANGEDCO officials said that this could have been because of a technical snag. “It can also be due to increased consumption in these localities,” added the official.