The coming summer is going to be a scorcher for Delhiites.
Power demands are expected to shoot up by about 10% compared to last year and experts say the distribution network is woefully ill-prepared to carry the load, meaning frequent power cuts are in store.
The hike in gas prices from April 1 will also hit consumers as nearly 25% of Delhi’s power is produced by gas-based generators.
The hike will mean an increase in power purchase costs for discoms, which in turn will mean costlier power for consumers.
CEO of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) met the central power secretary last week about this issue. “We requested him to reallocate Delhi’s power share through these gas-based power plants from April 1. Gas cost per unit would be R6 from the existing R4. This would only make power more expensive and it will impact the tariff too,” said Praveer Sinha, CEO of TPDDL.
Senior power department officials told HT that this year’s power demand will likely be between 6,000MW and 6,200MW. Last year, the peak demand was 5,653 MW.
Discoms say they have made arrangements to carry the load, but former Delhi power secretary Shakti Sinha said that local faults would continue as the backbone of the distribution system is old with aging transformers.
“Delhi’s existing (distribution) system can’t take loads beyond 5,700 MW... lot of schemes to strengthen the system have been held up by the regulator (DERC) as it would result in higher tariffs,” Sinha said.
Sources said, the precarious financial conditions of BSES discoms are also a worry as it has entered into long-term power purchase agreements. In case there are instances of low generation and outages of plants, wherein procurement has to be done through short-term power purchase agreements, it might face difficulty in meeting demands.
BSES, however, claimed that despite the financial constraints, they have enhanced their distribution capacities.