Brace for blackouts this summer as Delhi power demand may peak to record high
The demand goes up as the city’s insufferable summer heat forces residents to use power-guzzling air-conditioners, coolers and fans almost round-the-clock.delhi Updated: Mar 29, 2017 13:43 IST
Power cuts could haunt the national capital this summer as the city’s peak electricity demand is likely to reach 6,600MW, an estimated 5.5% increase from last year’s record, and trigger local faults in the supply network.
Chances of outages increase with the rising power demand as a load surge in the distribution network stresses the system that has a history of breakdowns.
“Local faults occur as the network gets little time to cool down because the power load remains consistently high through the summer,” a power official said on Monday.
The power-hungry city of more than 20 million people has been recording a consistent rise in the demand for electricity, peaking to a record 6,261MW on June 30 last year. It was a first for the peak power demand to cross the 6,000MW mark.
The forecast for this year is 6,600MW, officials said.
The demand goes up as the city’s insufferable summer heat forces residents to use power-guzzling air-conditioners, coolers and fans almost round-the-clock.
People could brace for a hot summer, if March temperatures are any indication. The city recorded the hottest day of March in seven years last Thursday, with the maximum temperature touching 37.4 degrees Celsius, seven notches above normal.
The Capital buys most of its electricity from the National Grid, while three private distribution companies or discoms and Delhi Transco, which handles the transmission network, brings power to homes and facilities.
Experts said the impact of the increased load can be reduced through adequate and meticulous maintenance of the network.
The discoms have invested substantially to strengthen the network over the past year, an official said.
“Most of the distribution schemes have been completed, and the rest are on track. This has made the distribution network more robust to withstand the additional power load during summer.”
The BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL), the discom that deals with east and central Delhi areas, is expecting a rise in peak demand from last year’s 1,493MW to 1,600MW this summer.
Similarly, the BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL), which caters to south and west Delhi, might record an increase from 2,669MW in 2016 to 2,800MW this year.
The Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, which looks after north and north-west Delhi, said it has made adequate arrangements to provide 2,000MW along with contingency plans. Last year, its peak demand reached 1791MW.
Officials of the three discoms are bracing for the annual summer challenge.
“The BRPL and BYPL have made arrangements to source additional power to provide uninterrupted supply to their more than 38.8 lakh consumers in the summer months. In case of contingencies, because of low generation and outages at power plants, we will purchase power from the exchange,” an official said.
Tata Power DDL is preparing to respond quickly and effectively to breakdowns.
“Thirty-nine mobile distribution transformers have been deployed and stationed in the entire network. We also have 53 maintenance vehicles operating round-the-clock,” an official said.
Staff strength at call centres taking power fault complaints has been increased by 25% for effective management of the summer torment.