According to reports, Tamil Nadu has been receiving 1,000MW short of its allotted quota from the central power plants for the past few weeks as many of them have been partially shut down for overhaul. On Saturday, despite a slight increase in supply from the central stations, the state received 876MW short of its quota.
Though the overall generation has been around 10,500MW and many parts of the state do not face any power cut, the state is over dependent on wind power at present. On an average, wind mills have been contributing 3,000MW per day to the grid for close to a fortnight.
Moreover, owing to a slight increase in water levels in various reservoirs, thanks to the recent rains in catchment areas, hydro power generation has gone up from virtually nothing to 500MW. Intermittent showers have also reduced demand for power in many parts of the state.
Still, if the central stations are not geared up to supply the full quota at the earliest, the situation could get worse, said a TNEB official. “One of the units in NTPC’s Ramagundam plant has been shut for annual maintenance since June 6. Similarly, a unit in Talcher has been shut down. The newly commissioned Vallur unit has tripped owing to some teething problems,” he said. All the three units are expected to restart production by the first week of July, he said.
Meanwhile, the commissioning of the Kudankulam unit 1 has been postponed once again. For a change, the unit 1 is not waiting for any technical clearance now, but is caught in the bureaucratic muddle with many agencies preparing documents to be presented in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on May 7 gave its approval for the plant to be commissioned, but laid down several conditions for the plant to be made operational. The apex court said the Union ministry of environment and forests should oversee and monitor whether NPCIL is complying with the conditions laid down by it while granting clearance to the project. It directed the NPCIL and the AERB to maintain constant vigil and make periodical inspections of the plant, at least once in three months, and if any defect is noticed, the same has to be rectified forthwith.
“Technical parameters have been complied with and the unit 1 is ready to attain criticality. But apart from our company officials, there are many other officials from various government departments who are frantically running around compiling safety reports to be presented before the Supreme Court. We hope this will be the final hurdle for us to cross,” a plant official told TOI.