Not to repeat the mistake of last year, Gridco, the bulk supplier of power to the State, is likely to urge the State Government to go for power regulation during winter to save water in the reservoirs to meet a possible power crisis in summer.
As water level in all the major reservoirs is in comfortable position, half of the power demand of the State is now met from hydel projects. The State’s average demand of electricity is 2,700 mw, while the peak demand has crossed 3,000 mw.
“With monsoon retreating from the State, release of water from the reservoirs needs to be regulated keeping in view the rabi crop season and power requirement during summer,” said a senior government officer.
The comfortable water level in major reservoirs __ Hirakud, Indravati, Rengali, Balimela and Upper Kolab __ is due to a series of lower pressure-induced rains in September. A few more low pressures over the Bay of Bengal will further improve the situation.
In case that does not happen, the reservoir water needs to be used judiciously, sources maintained.
With hydro projects having a capacity to generate 2,085 mw, the State is generating nearly 1,500 mw during peak hours, while the average generation is about 1,100 mw.
Faced with an acute shortage last year (with a daily average deficit of 700 mw), Gridco had made a similar request to the Government to go for power regulation. However, the panchayat elections came in the way followed by annual examinations of schools and colleges.
As the Government did not wish to antagonise the people ahead of panchayat elections, it went for generating more hydro power to meet the crisis situation. The depletion in water level in all the reservoirs had resulted in a chaotic power situation leading to scheduled power cuts, which continued till July.
Short supply of coal to the thermal power stations, both within and outside the State, further compounded the problem. The Central and State thermal power stations are still facing coal shortage.
The share of the State from the Central sector this year has been drastically reduced from 1,100 mw to 250 mw. The Eastern Region Electricity Board (EREB) allocated 330 mw on Wednesday as against 250 mw on Tuesday to the State from the Central pool.
The cash-strapped Gridco is buying costly power __ about 300 mw __ from outside sources to meet the crisis situation.