BENGALURU: After the state received excess rainfall last month, the Energy Department now finds itself in a fix. With all the dams full, monsoon being bountiful and strong winds, there is excess generation of power, which the department is unable to handle. Due to this, the department has nearly halted thermal power production.
As per information available, the actual generation currently is 7,500 MW, against the scheduled generation of 7135 MW. Additional Chief Secretary to the Energy Department, Mahendra Jain, said since all the dams are full, excess power is being generated.
“There is no storage mechanism available yet, and most of the additional power generated is going unutilised. As per the department’s commitment to the Central Government, up to 1,200 MW has to be supplied to the grid. Also, as per rules, generation and utilisation of solar and wind energy is a must and it cannot be stopped. Thus, the only option is to use less of hydel power and halt thermal power generation,” he added. As of Friday, the Raichur Thermal Plant was generating 339 MW of power. The Ballari and Yermarus thermal power stations have been shut for now.
‘Demand for power is less now due to weather’
The state generates 9,875 MW of power, of which 6,840 comes from unconventional sources like solar and wind power, and 708 MW is drawn from the central grid. Of the total power capacity, 48% is from renewable resources. Of the total installed capacity of 13,000 MW, only 25-30% is being used at present as solar and wind power are seasonal. Of the total capacity of 4,794.75 MW of wind power, only 2,417 MW is being generated and of the 5,516 MW capacity of solar power, 1,417 MW is being generated.
Jain said the demand for power is less now due to the weather. All the coal is being stocked and kept for summer months, he added. To address the issue of storage, the department is in talks with the Forest Department to obtain clearance for setting up a power storage mechanism in Sharavathi valley. It will take at least a year for things to materialise, if clearances are obtained, Jain added.