Bengaluru

Rising temperature pushes up electricity peak load

Complaints of power cuts from various parts of the city

Bengaluru welcomes summer with dread, not only because of the rise in temperature and the examination season, but also because of what is often synonymous with the season: power cuts.

Year after year, the government promises a power-cut-free exam season, but a constant tirade against the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), especially during its tariff review petitions, has been of inconsistent power supply.

This summer too, complaints have been pouring in from various parts of the city of frequent power disruptions, even as Bescom has seen the expected increase in peak load, as the maximum temperature breached the 34 degree Celsius mark, as early as February.

Manish Peringeth, a software engineer and resident of Horamavu, said the frequency of power cuts has gone up this summer, with there being one every 20 minutes almost every hour. “This has been happening for the past two months. When we try and contact Bescom, they keep saying there is an issue with the transformer. They are very keen to take off power supply when there is a delay in payment of bill, but then they should ensure that there is reliable power supply at least for those who pay on time,” he said.

He added that he is most affected by the intermittent electricity supply when he is working from home. “I live in an apartment and there are limitations to running the diesel generator as it is expensive. The Bescom helpline number is also not easily accessible,” he said.

Babu, a resident of Kanagappa Layout, Virgonagar, said there have been power cuts almost every day for the past few weeks. “It is not just this area. The problem is across Bengaluru. It is not a localised event. Bescom gives reasons such as feeder fault. If there is no power shortage, then maybe they should look at overhauling the infrastructure,” he said.

There has been an outcry over intermittent power supply on social media too. “No current in Siddapura, Whitefield. This is happening very frequently, and 1912 doesn't give an explanation to why this is happening,” said one consumer.

Peak demand on the rise

Bescom maintains that disruptions in supply were area-specific, and not due to issues related to availability of power or management of supply.

Bescom, which caters to eight districts, has already seen a rise in peak demand. While the highest peak load for January of 5,597 MW was recorded on January 22, it was 5,690 MW on February 19. On March 1, the figure touched 5,841 MW, officials said.

With the temperature touching the 37 degree Celsius mark on Friday, the peak load was around 5,700 MW.

Shikha C., Managing Director, Bescom said a majority of irrigation pump sets are being supplied power during day time, as part of its summer plan, to utilise the solar power available during the day. “This may be leading to a rise in demand apart from the usage of air-conditioners as temperatures are rising,” she said.

The power disruptions, she said, were area specific as Bescom has been undertaking development works before the financial year comes to an end.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:35:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/rising-temperature-pushes-up-electricity-peak-load/article26489764.ece

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