Steps initiated to get additional units commissioned at Mettur and North Chennai power stations in September

With a sudden fall in wind energy production over the last two days, the State’s power managers had to resort to load shedding for a few hours in the morning in several parts of the State.

Till a few days ago, the State has been enjoying no load shedding thanks to a combination of factors such as wind energy and copious flow into hydel reservoirs.

Keen to ensure that many parts of the State do not experience another spell of prolonged hours of load shedding that they underwent last year, the managers have initiated steps to get commissioned additional units at the Mettur and North Chennai power stations in September.

Also, to tide over the problem for the time being, the purchase of power on a temporary basis is being resorted to so that load shedding is kept to minimum or avoided.

At about 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the quantum of wind energy production was around 360 MW, which was about 3,200 MW 12 hours earlier. Likewise, on Monday morning, the production was 1,120 MW whereas it was about 2,800 MW at about 8 p.m. on Sunday. As a result, the quantum of shedding on Tuesday morning was about 1,650 MW and on Monday, about 1,000 MW. Terming the fall in wind energy production as an aberration, an official says the production will pick up again, as southwest monsoon is still in force.

The positive development is that the boiler light up of two 600-megawatt (MW) units at the North Chennai and Mettur thermal power stations was achieved on Tuesday.

In respect of North Chennai, production resumed after a gap of 40 days while in the case of the Mettur unit, it might take a couple of days for production to begin as the unit remained idle for three months due to technical snags.

Making use of the advent of southwest monsoon and the consequent rise in wind energy production in late May, the authorities had decided to take up repair of the Mettur unit.

Now with the wind energy generation going down, the commissioning of the two units has become imperative. Both units are likely to attain the stage of commercial operation declaration (COD) in September.

In the early hours of Sunday, the 500-MW Unit II of the Vallur Thermal Power Project, jointly executed by the NTPC and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), attained the stage of commercial operation declaration (COD), of which Tamil Nadu’s share would be at least 350 MW.

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