M. Malleswara Rao
It’s holiday of sorts for thermal stations in State
Copious rain ensures several benefits for State
Demand for power registers drastic fall
HYDERABAD: Heavy rain lashing the State has ensured several benefits, apart from filling the reservoirs for the fourth consecutive year.
Water availability has advanced the kharif in the rice granaries like the Krishna delta by a month. With paddy plantation in full swing all over the State on time, the Government has set an ambitious foodgrains target for the year of 179 lakh tonnes.
A steep rise in power generation at hydro-electric stations, such as Srisailam, has come as a great relief to the thermal stations that were heavily strained due to non-stop operation for more than a year. A number of thermal stations have been backed down — a sort of holiday for them for overhauling.
The plants kept on outage included the I, II and VII units of thermal complexes at Muddanur, Kothagudam and Vijayawada. At AP Transco’s request, the NTPC’s Simhadri Project II at Visakhapatnam is being shut from Sunday.
The 1,000 mw loss following the closures is more than made up by the Srisailam dam -- where nearly 1,400 mw out of the available 1,670 mw of capacity -- is used continuously now. The inflows into the Krishna from local sources alone is such that the storage in Srisailam reached 867 ft (885 ft FRL).
The dam is expected to have two or three fillings this year, if heavy rain in the catchment area of Maharashtra and Karnataka are any indication.
Using the flood waters, the Srisailam hydel stations have generated nearly 400 million units additionally so far. As in the past three years, the hydel sources are likely to generate about 1,000-1,500 mu additionally this year too, offering a ‘windfall gain’ to AP Transco.
The demand for power plummeted to 130 mu, a fall of 55mu, from the summer’s peak of 185mu. Both agriculture and domestic loads registered a fall. For the first time in recent months, the line frequency has gone up to 49.7 cycles a second, pushing up the voltage level and ensuring safety of electrical appliances.