Power outage points to a dark summer

The shortage is now around 180 MW

January 05, 2013 08:15 am | Updated July 24, 2016 02:46 am IST - Bangalore

DARK DAYS AHEAD?: State is looking to buy 1,500 MW of power to tide over theshortage. File Photo: K. Gopinathan

DARK DAYS AHEAD?: State is looking to buy 1,500 MW of power to tide over theshortage. File Photo: K. Gopinathan

Several areas in south Bangalore, including Hosakerehalli, Banashankari and B.T.M. Layout are having a taste of what power supply will be like this summer. Supply to these areas was disrupted for more than two hours on Thursday following technical work at the 220 kV station in Somanahalli. These dark hours may well become the norm in the coming summer months, given the fact that the State is already reeling under shortage. To gear up for the summer months, the government has floated a tender to buy 1,500 MW of power.

City to be spared?

Sources in the Energy Department told The Hindu on condition of anonymity that though Bangalore may be spared, unscheduled load-shedding may be inevitable in other parts of the State. Already the shortage is around 180 MW. It will definitely spike in summer months when the power consumption is at its peak.

Power generation from all sources, including hydel and thermal, is a little over 160 million units (MU) a day. With the failure of rain, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) has reduced dependence on the hydel stations at Linganamakki, Supa and Mani. Last year, hydel sources generated around 14,300 MU (for the whole year), while this year, it has been cut to around 12,000 MU.

Tightrope walk

“We cannot exhaust the resources at the hydel stations, as we will need to increase generation during summer. Right now, we are not facing too many problems as all the eight units at the Raichur Thermal Power Station, two units each at the Bellary Thermal Power Station and the Udupi Thermal Power Station are generating enough power. It is a tightrope walk as even if one unit fails, we will have a difficult situation on our hands,” the source said.

Bescom too

The source added that the government was hoping that it would be able to purchase at least 1,000 MW of additional power to tide over the increased demand during summer. A source in the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) said the utility had sought an additional 300 MW for the summer.

Bescom currently gets an average of 3,500 MW a day.

“We are managing with this without enforcing load-shedding. With shortage in power, we may not get the additional power that we have sought. In that case, we will enforce load-shedding for industries, which will negatively impact our finances. We will not be enforcing load-shedding on domestic consumers since it is examination period,” the source added.

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