Several districts in T.N. reel under blackout

The demand for electricity has been increasing since the middle of March. File photo | Photo Credit: V. GANESAN

Residents in Tamil Nadu found themselves in the dark on Wednesday night when a few thermal plants of both the State and the Centre failed leading to unannounced load shedding in several districts, barring Chennai city. Several districts in the State experienced power cuts ranging from one to three hours at intermittent intervals because of short supply in electricity.  

While the Chennai city escaped from power disruptions, neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Vellore and Villupuram, experienced power outages starting as early as 7 p.m. 

Bhaskaran, a resident of Theradi Street, Kancheepuram, said power supply was stopped all over the district frequently at one-hour intervals for more than three hours giving a sleepless night to the residents. Similar load shedding was carried out in several parts of Chengalpattu district of Guduvanchery, Marai Malai Nagar, Vandalur, and in Tiruvallur district of Pattabhiram, Thiruninravur and Nemmilichery.  

The demand for electricity has been increasing since the middle of March with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) meeting the highest demand of 17,196 mega watt (MW) on March 29 and consumption also touching an all time high of 375.70 million units (MU). However on Wednesday night, the failure of a few thermal plants including North Chennai and Mettur, forced the officials of Tangedco to choose power disruptions in order to safeguard the transmission grid system. 

A senior official of Tangedco denying that load shedding has returned in the State said despite power supply shortage caused by the failure of a central thermal unit to the extent of 750 MW (Electricity Minister V. Senthil Balaji had also tweeted about the power shortage from the central station) and two thermal plants of the State not functioning on Wednesday, the city did not have any power cuts. However load shedding was enforced in a ‘few’ neighbouring districts in a phased manner to safeguard the transmission system. While the thermal plants of the State on Wednesday were able to produce less than 3,000 MW against the total capacity of 4,320 MW and the central stations contributing less than 5,000 MW against the total receivables of 7,150 MW, the situation was managed by purchasing power from the exchange, he added. 

The Electricity Department was able to meet the highest demand of 17,196 MW by generating nearly 3,500 MW from the State’s thermal stations along with the central stations producing more than 5,120 MW and purchasing power — 2,896 MW — from the exchange.

Power sector managers are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that such power shortages do not happen in the coming days, since the augmentation from wind energy will pick up only from the end of May.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2022 10:22:44 am |