After reeling under eight-hour power cuts through April and May, people in the city have reason to rejoice now. The last 10 days have had very rare instances of power cuts, bringing cheer to residents and industries alike.
“The southwest monsoon has brought in its wake strong winds, facilitating higher production of wind energy,” said an official from the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited, Madurai. “We are getting the energy supply from wind farms in Udumalpet, Theni, Tenkasi and Muppandal,” he added.
Before May 15, wind energy contributed to only about 10 per cent of the total power supply in Madurai. With the change in climate, it now contributes close to 25 per cent. While 7000 mega watts is the total installed capacity, close to 3000 mega watts are being supplied now. “We used to have power cuts in shifts of four hours till about two weeks back. But, for the last two weeks, the maximum power cuts we’ve faced has been for not more than 10 minutes,” said M. Chandrasekaran, secretary of the Nagari Industries Association.
He added that the 40-odd industries which were a part of the association could carry on production without interruption for the past two weeks in the absence of unprecedented power shutdowns.
“From 45 to 50 million units of load shedding per day, the figures have fallen to 15 to 10 million units. We have even had a few days without any load shedding,” said an official from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB).
While Tamil Nadu was receiving approximately 42 million units of wind energy per day in May, it had risen to more than 62 million units per day this month.
This had led to a decrease in dependency on hydro-electric and thermal power sources. While the usage of hydel power had fallen by an average of three million units, thermal power usage had fallen by approximately 20 million units per day. Power being harnessed through gas turbines have, however, remained constant at 5.5 million units to 7 million units per day and that of captive power plants stood at 26 to 32 million units a day.
The TNEB had also been importing energy from the Central Grid Sector to meet its energy needs. The suppliers include Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Kaiga Atomic Power Plant, and the Neyveli Lignite Corporation power stations, the sources added.