Northern states, including Delhi, could face power cuts as three hydro-power plants that together supply about 3,000 MW of electricity to the region have been shut down.

The 1,500-MW Nathpa Jhakri, 1,000-MW Karcham-Wangtoo and 300-MW Chamera II hydro-power projects have been shut temporarily due to high silt levels in water, sources said.

Electricity generated in these three plants is fed to Northern Grid that caters to 28 per cent of the country’s population.

A Power Grid Corp official said there was shortfall of around 3,000 MW supply to the Northern Grid due to non-generation by the three hydro projects.

According to him, supply shortage in the grid was noticed at around 10 a.m., when the demand was about 33,000 MW.

However, the situation could not be termed as grid disturbance, he added.

Collapse averted

Meanwhile, an Uttar Pradesh Government official said the State averted collapse of the Northern Grid at around 10 a.m.

The latest incident comes within three weeks of failure of Northern, Eastern and North Eastern grids on July 31, which led one of the world’s biggest power outages.

The Northern Grid, that covers nine regions, itself had tripped for two consecutive days on July 30 and July 31.

When contacted, an official of Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam, that operates the Nathpa Jhakri project, said the plant was shut on Monday due to high silt content in water from Sutlej river.

“The plant has to be closed if the silt level in water goes up beyond the benchmark level... we are closely analysing the situation and expect to restart the plant on Tuesday morning,” Nathpa Jhakri’s Executive Director, R K Bansal said.

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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