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REGULATION | Cesar Tordesillas, India

India braces for power cuts as plants are low on coal, water

New Delhi received up to 1,000 MW less power recently leading to load shedding in many areas.


While the units at NTPC’s plants at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Farakka in West Bengal and Kahalgaon in Bihar were already producing less power due to shortage of coal and wet coal, fewer water supply from the Agra Canal led to a shortfall in supply from the Badarpur plant on Sunday. Discoms have warned that load shedding may have to be intensified on Monday when demand rises.

“Due to further reduction in power generation at BTPS, supply to Delhi fell short by as much as 1,000 MW for certain periods on Sunday. The impact wasn’t pronounced it being a Sunday, but we may have to resort to load shedding on a rotational basis on Monday if the problem is not sorted out. There will be an obvious increase in power demand on a working day,” said a discom official. The peak load on Sunday was 3,526 MW which was about 200 MW less than what it was on Saturday. According to Transco, the load shedding was to the tune of 270 MW on Sunday.

“Due to shortage of water used for cooling and also technical snags, generating stations in the city, including BTPS and Rajghat, were cumulatively producing around 410 MW less power. They normally supply around 1,100 MW to Delhi,” a discom official said. Sources said the city received only 800 MW power from the Dadri plant even though its quota is 1,400 MW. The power plants have been cutting down on their generation for nearly a week due to inadequate supply of coal.

Incessant rain in the east has severely hit mining and loading of coal due to which discoms have been overdrawing from the Northern Grid. Last week, load shedding in the city had to be increased to maintain grid frequency. As per Delhi government sources, neighbouring states were heavily overdrawing from the Grid. According to discoms, they cannot arrange to buy power from other sources for the time being as power supply has been hit in other parts of the country, too.

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