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Wind energy eases power situation in Karnataka

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on January 22, 2018

Steps afoot for long-term power purchase from private players

Availability of wind energy has temporarily eased the power situation in Karnataka though it may not last for more than a week.

“Due to sudden windy conditions, power situation in the State has eased a bit. As of now, we are getting 1,100 MW. Also, we are able to get power through Jindal (800 MW) and UPCL (1,000 MW),” Energy Minister DK Shivakumar told Business Line. “We are confident of avoiding power cuts during the Gowri-Ganesha festival.”

3,500 MW shortfall

The State needs about 9,500 MW of power while the shortfall is around 3,500 MW.

The State also plans to holds talks with Tamil Nadu power producers soon, the Minister said. Karnataka is also banking on power from bio-mass as the State goes into sugarcane crushing season and BTPS and RTPS going on stream by December.

He said load-shedding would continue till May next year. Karnataka, which is totally dependant on hydel power, is facing combination of problems of lower storage levels in hydel reservoirs, reduction in thermal generation owing to technical snags, reduced power supply from the Central quota, increase in demand for power due to drought, and shortfall in availability of wind power due to poor wind speed.

Power production

Shivakumar said that as of Wednesday, the total power production is 7,761 MW and the State plans to purchase 900 MW to tide over the crisis till sugarcane (co-generation) come to the grid.

Normally, the monsoon season of June to September is considered a pressure-free period when the demand for power would reduce due to rains and the hydel reservoirs witness good inflows. Taking advantage of this, thermal stations would be shut for annual maintenance.

Thermal stations shut

Three thermal generating units are shut owing to technical snag, resulting in a shortfall of about 1,460 MW. What has complicated matters is the reduction in availability of power from the Central quota to the extent of 500 MW and drastic fall in wind power generation from 1,500 MW to 200 MW.

The situation is expected to improve by January when supply of 450 MW of power from Damodar Valley Corporation and 200 MW from Kudankulam nuclear power plant begins. But if demand for power goes up by then, the State will have to continue with load-shedding.

Published on September 16, 2015

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