Intending to ensure power availability in the summer of 2024, Tangedco Chairman and Managing Director Rajesh Lakhoni has written to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) requesting changes in the schedule of the refuelling activity to be carried out at Units I and II of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli district.
In his letter, Mr. Lakhoni pointed out that the revised outage schedule for KKNPP Unit I is from January 24, 2024, to April 8, 2024, which is 75 days. For Unit II, it is scheduled between May 4, 2024, to July 8, 2024 (65 days).
Since the schedule for the revised refuelling activity of Unit, I fall during the peak demand period (April), it is requested to reduce the number of refuelling days from 75 days to 60 days and complete it before March 2024, he said in the letter. The refuelling activity of Unit II may be rescheduled to May 31 instead of May 4 by reducing the electricity generation to stretch the availability, like how it was done the previous year, the letter read.
Tamil Nadu has a power allocation share of 1,150 MW out of the total capacity of 2,000 MW of KKNPP’s Units I and II. The State’s peak power demand is expected to touch 20,806 MW in 2024, surpassing the previous all-time high of 19,387 MW recorded on April 20 this year.
Tangedco’s own thermal power has a capacity of 4,320 MW, and along with the State’s share from Central Generating Stations (CGS), and long-term and short-term power purchase agreements, the State’s conventional installed capacity stands at 16,417.38 MW. The 800-MW North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) Stage III project is expected to be on stream during the summer.
As per the State’s Energy Department’s policy note, the Tangedco has executed agreements for 7,170 MW of power from CGS at a time when the peak availability is only 5,900 MW,
During the summer months, Tangedco meets the shortage in availability through short-term agreements, swap power arrangements and purchases from power exchanges.