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Delayed monsoon may lead to power crisis in Maharashtra

A file picture of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Photo: Vivek Bendre.

A file picture of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Photo: Vivek Bendre.  

Maharashtra may soon face a severe power crisis if the monsoon is delayed even further. The declining water levels have already led to the partial shut down of two major power plants, creating a daily load shedding of between 300 to 600 MW.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday accepted that the power crisis looms large at the state. “We are also checking the possibility of lifting additional energy from the central grid and private companies,” he said in Nashik.

The Koyna hydro project which has the capacity to produce 2000 MW electricity is currently producing around 1000 MW of power, while the Parli thermal power project is producing only 320 MW of electricity. The total installed capacity of the Parli plant is 1130 MW.

According to the government data, on June 30, the usable water stock across all dams in the state has gone down to 19% compared to 24% in 2013.

A senior official from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Mahavitaran) on the condition of anonymity said that, the water level in Koyna dam is around 40 feet below when compared to its last year’s level.

“We have decided to use available water conservatively. The electricity generation will be stopped within eight days, if we go on with project’s full capacity,” he said.

Apart from water shortage for thermal power plants, the state is also battling out inadequate supply of coal in Parli. Mr. Pawar had made it clear that the state government has approached the coal ministry and more coal is expected in next few days.

The officer said that the company in last few days purchased power from private exchanges to control the load shedding. “It is not going to be sustainable source. The situation may worsen if monsoon is delayed further,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:30:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/delayed-monsoon-may-lead-to-power-crisis-in-maharashtra/article6167234.ece

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