High-tension consumers told to reorganise power schedules

Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar told presspersons on Wednesday that electricity supply companies (ESCOMs) in the State had asked high-tension power consumers, including factories, to reorganise their production schedule to meet the increased demand for power in summer. The Minister said this was done to ensure a healthy balance between the demand and supply of power.

“To meet the high demand for power during summer, ESCOMs have asked industries to cut down power consumption by either declaring a ‘lay-off’ once a week, or functioning on Sundays when consumption is less,” he said.

He said such measures would help ESCOMs meet the ongoing demand from all sections, including domestic and agriculture. “Although ESCOMs in the State are struggling to ensure regular power supply, frequent technical snags in most coal-fired thermal power plants are a major hitch. It will take at least six to eight hours to restore even a minute’s power disruption due to a technical snag,” he said.

The Energy Department had initiated measures to tide over the power crisis. “The State government’s decision to invoke Section 11 of the Electricity Act 2003, making it mandatory for private domestic power producers to trade their power only to ESCOMs, has yielded results. We are receiving about 380 MW of additional power from private power producing companies,” he said.

Bangalore ESCOM Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey said officials had already spoken to representatives from 10,000 high-tension installations in Bescom limits. “We had a summer crisis management meet two months ago, and asked factory owners to reduce power consumption by switching off one or two furnaces (in cases where there were more furnaces),” he said.

Mr. Pandey, adding that most of the industries had agreed to the plan, said: “we have also asked them to run their machines during off-peak time to reduce load during peak time. If the power generation outage goes on for a prolonged time, we will introduce a staggered holiday system.”

Bescom had, in March, acknowledged that there was a “reduction in availability of power to the State” for a few days.

This was attributed to “generation outage of nearly 1,100 MW in generating units at the Udupi Power Corporation Ltd., the Raichur Thermal Power Station, and some central generating stations.”

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