Duration of power cut reduced from 90 per cent to 40 per cent during peak hours

High tension (HT) industrial units and commercial establishments in the State are to get relief from the 40-per cent power cut that has been in force since March last year.

The relief will be in force till September end, by when the authorities will review the power supply position.

The 40-per cent power cut had been in vogue for 20 hours in a day. For four hours (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.), which are called peak hours in the parlance of power engineers, the HT consumers had 90 per cent power cut.

From Wednesday, the quantum of power cut during peak hours will be reduced to 40 per cent. For the rest of the day, there will be no power cut.

A decision to this effect was conveyed by the State Energy Department to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) on Tuesday.

The decision has been prompted by a combination of factors, including copious inflow to hydel reservoirs and higher generation of wind energy, both of which are due to an extremely good southwest monsoon. Besides, several thermal power projects have progressed to such an extent that their commissioning is a matter of time, says an official source.

Moreover, with the authorities releasing water from Mettur Dam for irrigation, the agricultural demand in the Cauvery delta districts has come down.

About a month ago, Tangedco proposed to the State government to relax restriction and control (R&C) measures, which were introduced early last year when power supply position became grim.

As per a conservative estimate, the relaxation of the stipulations may lead to an increase of industrial demand by 1,000 megawatt (MW), which the Tangedco hopes to meet comfortably.

The main reason for providing the relief for a limited period initially is that the wind season is expected to recede by September end. If the proposed thermal power projects get commissioned in about a month or so, the withdrawal of the conditions may continue beyond September.

Welcoming the relaxation, Southern India Mills’ Association chairman S. Dinakaran said the State was facing the problem of power shortage since 2008.

But, with wind energy generation picking up during the last two months, the industry had been seeking lifting of the 40 per cent power cut for HT consumers and relaxation of the peak hour restriction.

Mr. Dinakaran said the relaxations would benefit both the wind energy sector and the HT industrial units.

Tamil Nadu Electricity Consumers’ Association president D. Balasundaram said nearly after five years, HT consumers in the State would be able to use their production capacities fully except in the peak hours.