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Power outages to continue for another year, says Tamil Nadu Electricity Board

According to reports, it was the turn of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to have a taste of its own medicine on Monday, as the computers at the K K Nagar office(Trichy) went blank from 11am due to the power cuts. Consumers, who had gone to pay their electricity bills, were turned away by the staff at the counters. “The EB officials reluctantly told me to try after 2pm and I gave up the idea of paying the bill today (Monday),” said a vexed consumer.

What has irritated the people is the fact that the power supply does not last for more than an hour at a stretch. The intermittent supply not only renders the inverters useless, but uncertainty of it all has thrown life out of gear. The situation was so grim that supply from the wind energy was a mere 49 MW on Monday, the lowest in this season, said a top official who did not want to be named. As of now, the grim situation would continue at least for a year and there is no escaping it, he added.

“If it rains at least moderately, we could expect an additional 300 MW of hydropower. It would ease the situation to some extent,” he said. But interestingly, if the all people were to shift to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamp) instead of the conventional incandescent lamps, a whopping 1000 MW could be saved, the official said. Moreover, the total consumption of the consumers would also come down during rains, he said.

Furthermore, the irritating stoppage of power at the regular internal of one hour could not be avoided as the TNEB has to maintain the frequency at 50 hertz, (when generation equals consumption) or else the entire state would be plunged into darkness like it happened in North India some time back. “When the withdrawal is more, the frequency dips, leading to tripping of power generators and the load dispatch centres decide which sub-station has to shed load,” the official said warning that the people must learn to live with the predicament.

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