According to reports, Tamil Nadu is going through one of its worst ever power crises. Against a normal demand of 10,000MW and a peakhour demand of 12,000MW, the state is able to supply only 7,000MW at present.
Hence, about 30% of the state has to go without power at any given point of time. Under compulsion to restrict power cut in Chennai city to just one hour a day, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board passes on much of the load shedding burden to the rural areas. Naturally, people in rural TN are an aggrieved lot, said an official.
The situation gets worse especially during late night hours and early mornings when windmill generation falls drastically. For instance, of the four wind energy passes – Aralwaimozhi, Palakkad, Tenkasi and Theni – generation in Aralwaimozhi fell to zero from 11pm on September 9 to 2am the next day. When a pass, which generates about 1,000MW when the wind velocity is more than 18kmph, is cut off suddenly from the grid, a large section of people, equivalent to half the population of Chennai, goes without power. As on date, windmills contribute about 2,500MW. The state is better off on some days when the windmills generate close to 4,000MW. But the wind season is nearing its end and unless new power projects like Vallur thermal station, North Chennai thermal station stage II and Mettur thermal station and Kudankulam power plant are commissioned soon, load shedding will increase by the month-end, an official said.
Another concern of the power utility is the dip in Tamil Nadu’s realisation from central power stations like Simhadri in Andhra Pradesh, Talcher in Odisha, Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam and Kaiga atomic power station in Karnataka. Against a commitment to supply 2,481MW from these stations, they now supply only about 1,500MW.