Power cuts are back to haunt the state due to shortage of 10 million units (MU) of power everyday. Following directions from the state government, the distribution companies have started imposing power cuts ranging from an hour in major cities to four-five hours in rural areas with effect from September 1.
Currently, the distribution companies have decided to impose power cut for an hour in major cities like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati. Load shedding of about one-two hours will be imposed in the district and mandal headquarters, while power cuts are being imposed up to four hours in villages.
“The situation is unlikely to improve immediately as the power generation has decreased in thermal, hydel and gas-based plants over the last couple of weeks,” said an official in the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL).
Hydel power generation has decreased considerably over the the last few weeks due to inadequate inflows. Despite copious rains during the initial monsoon season and all the reservoirs brimming to their full capacity, the hydel power generation decreased from 57 MU on August 28 to 31 MU on September 3.
Adding to this, there is a loss of about 500 MW from thermal power plants due to shortage and poor quality of coal. An additional 750 MW power generation in thermal plants has been affected due to maintenance works and other technical problems. Due to stoppage of the gas from KG D6 field, there is reduction in generation of 15 MU a day, decreasing the overall availability of power.
Over the last few years, the demand for power has increased at the rate of seven to eight per cent per annum. Compared to last year, it has further increased by 10 MU this year alone. But the capacity addition in the state has not been substantial, increasing by roughly 400 MW to 500 MW a year. The current power demand in the state hovers around 260 MU a day.
The deficit has come down from 110 MU during peak months to around 10 MU a day, but load-shedding in rural areas has been continuing.